By Busisani Ncube
Teenage drummer, Jesse Nyakudya, who has previously jammed with Keke Phofoolo and ex-Joyous Celebration star Mkhululi Bhebhe, says the eminent Sabu Satsha has incredibly influenced his budding career.
The 16-year-old wants to emulate Satsha, who made his name with the multiple award-winning gospel ensemble, Joyous Celebration.
“Just watching him from afar, he’s been a great influence on me, I love the way he plays,” Nyakudya says.
His mother, Carole Nyakudya, an award-winning musician, television presenter and mental health professional, reveals it all started with her pots for her son when he was as little as four.
“He would get the pots and start playing them as if they were drums,” she says.
His story reads like Satsha’s, who went on to hone his skills in church.
“It’s not like I chose drums, it’s a God-given gift,” he says confidently.
Over the years, the teenager says, his passion has grown, and he continues to refine his craft.
And Bhebhe, who remembers a session with the youngster vividly, believes he is on the right track.
“The boy has so much potential and seems to have the right attitude towards what he does,” says Bhebhe.
The starlet singles out his gig with award-winning gospel musician, Keke, as his best drumming experience. He describes that 2016 experience as ‘dreamlike’.
“It was one of the highlights, I’d been listening to his albums repeatedly. It was amazing. It was surreal. Learning from him was too amazing,” he says.
The self-effacing youngster recalls: “I was playing drums, he gave me a solo, shouting my name, I felt like it was upon me to seize the moment. It was heartening.”
Besides Bhebhe and Keke, the budding ace has also played for Takesure ‘Zamar’ Ncube, another former Joyous star, and Thembalami Tagwire, one of the founding members of Zimpraise gospel music group. And he is eager to, not only see that list grow, but nurture his craft.
A big fan of Travis Greene, drumming, for him, is the ‘engine room’ of music. The prudent teen knows the influences of music on his peers and stresses he sticks to gospel.
“Music is influential, careful about the message behind music.”
But, with the world’s most beautiful game – football – another of his talents, Nyakudya knows he will soon have to choose.
And, with the help of his supportive parents and God’s guidance, he knows his future is secure.