Nozipho Ndzukula has a dream. Her dream is to be the best gospel singer in the country and use music to preach to the unrepentant. This 23-years old Thulamahashe (Bushbuckridge) based singer is so serious about her ambitions two months ago she went to SABC2's Gospel Time programme to expose her talent and subject herself to a national vote. This is where gospel dreams are made and broken. It's more like Survivor of gospel music.
A week later the results were out and she got 86%. She survived. Fourteen percent gave her a thumbs down. They obvioulsy must be fans of other music genres who were out to extinguish every little flame of gospel rejuvenation. But in democracies it's not only the majority who matter, it's only in mobocracies were the voices of the minority are suffocated by the mob. However, this singer says she's not about to quit, obviously she's encouraged. She traces her background to her religious ubringing and the chances she was given to sing in church and as a backing vocalist while she was still a teenager. "I sing to thank God that I'm alive, now that I can't walk around with a Bible and preach at this time, I'm doing it through my music", says the petite young muso.
After doing lots of backing sessions, Nozipho released her first album in 2005 titled "Sihamba Nayo (Inkosi)". She says, "it did good, I think it was well-received even though I was doing self-marketing. I was invited to places like the Eastern Cape, Polokwane and Giyani". To her advantage Nozipho sings in XiTsonga which she says it's mainly because 'there's a huge gap in XiTsonga Gospel music'. For sure, how many XiTsonga gospel groups has one person heard recently? The xiTsonga gospel market is not as saturated as the isiZulu and Setswana.
She urges young wannabe musicians to be patient, persistent no matter how hard the going gets. "Strive for the best, remember how long it took the children of Israel to get to Canaan, which means you must have courage", she says confidently.
It took the children of Israel 40 years and Nozipho is only 23 years old. She says all she needs now (not in 40 years time) is for public broadcaster radio stations to start pumping her music since the only airplay support she's received up to now is on Radio Bushbuckridge. She's got a case, public broadcasters answer to the public and Nozipho and her fans are also that public. Public broadcasters have a broad mandate to cater for all languages and often depend on taxpayer money.
She is praying that public broadcaster deejays see the light and offer her airplay like everyone else, especially on her upcoming album, which she hopes will be backed by a major company, given that she was given a thumbs up by gospel enthusiats on SABC2. Nozipho says her manager in negotiations with a few big companies.
While waiting for her dream to come true she aspires to have her own recording studio, a couple of internet cafes and a communications and management company. She currently owns one internet cafe.