The Gospel Truth

Tonga (Mpumalanga) born and bred gospel musician Phillip Dube believes in the healing power of music and has dedicated his life to use this artform as his platform to reach souls in pain and spirits in turmoil.

When not resting in Tonga he travels around spreading the word of God through his performances. In 1989 he and a seven other fellow churchgoers formed a group called Phillip Dube & Sikhululiwe Gospel and started performing across the province. He however is worried that while they've been around for a long time they have not really seen support from the public broadcaster radio in the province.

"Barberton Radio plays our music a lot except Ligwalagwala FM". His group is made up of people from as far
as Hazyview and other areas in the province which Dube says reflects the social diversity which makes up the group and which later filters through in their style of gospel.

Dube says the lack of airplay comes even after they released their first recording last year titled Ngibambe Jesu. The CD has ten tracks and is complimented by two instrumentals of Wena Uyazi and Jerico.
Ngibambe Jesu has addictive music with catchy melodies. While many a gospel starts just pluck a verse from the Bible and play recycled keyboard sounds while repeating it this album has some form of compositions. Ba Mlandela is about the old story of how Jesus was followed by people who have just repented but is delivered with a mature harmonising that should easily market this CD. U ya Vutha is another one which plays around with the burning effects of gospel fire, not hell. Thanda uMakhelwane preaches the old 'love your neighbour' sermon but with a social message.

Then on Ntate Ngi Thuse the group puts in the LP something for those who enjoy seSotho lyrics as they sing so convincingly in Sesotho it exposes the social diversity Dube mentioned earlier about the group members. Then on another hit, Ndza nwi Tiva they switch to Shangaan which also fits like a glove given that the area where some of the members come from has it as a first language.

Overall teh CD is well arranged, professionally produced and mastered.
Dube writes all the lyrics and he says that people seem to like Ngibambe Jesu and Wena Uyazi a lot. "People have told me that the two songs help to lift their spirit. One even said he wanted to kill himself due to many problems but changed his mind when he heard the songs because they told him he should not give up but should continue with life", Dube says .

He says he has learnt that when things are difficult people need to look to the creator as him and his group had to struggle for years without a sponsorship and at the end they have a CD that they can call their own.

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