Rookie gospel musician releases album

BULAWAYO - South African-based Zimbabwean gospel musician Thembi Sibanda has released a third album — a 13-track well-choreographed scorcher titled Sinjalo.

The album was recorded at Kabamba Productions.

The 30-year-old musician, who hails from Esigodini, fronts a seven-member group, Sisters of Paradise.

Sibanda recorded her first album Mhla UJesu Ebuya in 2011.

The 11-track album did not do well on the market.

In 2013, she released her second album Ngubani Oyazongena, which she says brought her fame.

“My first album failed to penetrate the market since it was a new project. It even faced competition from South Africa where I was based. When I recorded my second album, I became very popular and it did well in the market,” said an elated Sibanda.

Her music was influenced by her upbringing in the Victory Church congregation where she used to sing in the choir.

She comes from a family background of non-musicians and desires to do her best.

Sibanda said: “I am a member of Victory Fellowship church where I used to sing. At school I was in the choir as well, so that shaped me to be the musician I am today.

“I give credit to my teacher at school who gave us the name Sisters of Paradise with my friends because we were so close and we looked alike.”

The musician, who is currently in Bulawayo to promote her music and the new album, highlighted that competition in South Africa has been a serious drawback.

When she brought her music home, it managed to do well and she is happy about it.

Sibanda has travelled to Botswana to launch her music where she was supported by veteran Kalanga gospel maestro Isaac Maleyi, musician Magwaza and many Batswana gospel and traditional singers.

She attributed her popularity to working together with other musicians and getting advice from them.

The musician indicated that their music is currently doing very well in South Africa.

“I like working with other musicians and that’s where I get advice. I have realised that the industry is so big that I need them and they also need me. South Africans love our music but our dream is to bring more of it home.”

The promising gospel singer said there are a number of shows lined up for December in Esigodini, her rural home, to show her people that she is doing what God created her for.

Sibanda is to hold a collaborative show with Hloseni Arts at the Arts Gallery on December 26.

The musician castigated music pirates.

“Piracy is a serious problem to our music. Right now, the pirates even promise to beat us for our music.”

Dumisani Mhlanga of Hloseni Arts confirmed that that shows with Sibanda are lined up for December, with many other artistes. The music is good but lacks popularity.

“We have planned a number of shows with Sibanda so that her music is marketed in the country,” Mhlanga said.

Mhlanga feels the government must do something and put stringent measures to eliminate piracy.

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