By Busisani Ncube
She lives to belt out melodies of hope. For her, music is not just entertainment, but a vehicle for a message.
Ntombi Siwela-Mpofu, who recently released her maiden eight-track album, believes music can inspire and share a message people can connect with.
“I would like my music to revive, restore, comfort, encourage and heal people,” she says.
album titled Halala NgoJesu looks set to inspire optimism in many with songs
like Nditonge and Mbonge uJesu, Zita Inhare, and Goodness and Mercy.
“It’s got to give hope to those who don’t see a way out and reveal God’s greatness and strength.”
Music, for her, stems from a journey she started as a teenager at Tennyson Hlabangane High School. While her peers were busy with all manner of things, she shifted her affections to Jesus Christ. And now, she wants to share the good news she received back then with the nations of the world.
“The primary thing for me is to share a message of hope with people, it would be heartening to see people’s dashed hopes revived as they listen to the music,” says the 35-year-old.
Interestingly, it’s a case of the apple not falling far from the tree. The talented songwriter and vocalist reveals that her late dad played saxophone and was one of the founders of the music school in the military. Add to that, there was never a need to hire a band or rely on visitors for music during family gatherings. Her maternal family, spearheaded by her pleasant-sounding grandmother, teamed up to sing melodious songs at every formal or informal gathering.
“It’s a family thing I suppose, it all started with my dad who was passionate about the saxophone. I learnt to sing along, appreciate, value, enjoy and love music because of my family,” she says.
But it took her primary school music teacher to give her a public platform to express her musical talent. She was in Grade Four at the time. Thereafter, it became common belt out gospel tunes in front of crowds.
school music teacher heard me singing and invited me to join the school choir.
Since that time, every music club, choir or ministry in school, Scripture Union
and church was interested in me as a lead vocalist and as a leader and mentor
of the music team or choir,” she says.
She is set to feature in albums by Israel-based Prince Phiri and Innocent ‘Innora’ Banda, who doubles as her producer. Siwela-Mpofu has previously shared the stage with China-based Rugare Marian Mutsau-Brown, the brains behind the international Virtuous Woman.
The Bulawayo-born muso has developed the knack of writing songs across several languages including Ndebele, English, Shona and Zulu. To date, she has written more than 50 songs, and some are sung at her local church.