Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
UP-and-coming gospel musician, Vusumuzi Mangena, has released a single titled Indlela which chronicles the road that he has walked as a person towards self enlightenment.
The artiste featured Afrosoul-singer-cum actress, Qeqeshiwe Mntambo, on the song and it comes after last year’s album, Nkosi bamb’ Isandla.
The song was released last month and has made headway on Skyz Metro FM and Khulumani FM.
Mangena said: “Indlela is all about what I was going through as I encountered some difficult situations. The song came to me one Sunday as I was walking down the street. I was feeling very low and some lyrics came to my head: Mangilawe Nkosi yami, ngizocatsha kuwe. So that’s how I wrote the song. It was if I was praying while I was walking,” said Mangena.
He said as he was fine-tuning the track in the studio he decided to rope in his cousin Qeqeshiwe to sing a verse.
“The song is in Xhosa as a tribute to my mother. I was raised up by my maternal grandmother. When I was in studio I felt that there was something missing from the track. I then remembered that my cousin Qeqe sings well. I asked her to feature on the track and do one verse in Xhosa. I’m happy that worked out well,” said Mangena.
Chronicling his musical journey, Mangena said he was shy and did not get the opportunity to sing at school.
It was only four years ago during his church, Apostolic Faith Church in Southern Africa’s Durban conference that he got onto the stage and sang.
“During a musical interlude I asked to sing. I gathered the courage to sing in front of the many people there. I sang the late Freedom Sengwayo’s song Awe Mdali. People enjoyed how I sang and periodically during church services I’d be asked to sing,” said Mangena.
He said he took his talent seriously when local gospel musician, Minister Lindani, watched a video clip of him performing and asked that he be part of her album launch two years ago.
“There was a time during our church’s conference that someone recorded me on video singing Sengwayo’s song and uploaded the clip on YouTube. Minister Lindani liked what she saw then she contacted me and asked for me to be part of her concert.
“Thereafter I started writing songs,” said Mangena.
Writing songs then birthed seven tracks that culminated into a debut album Nkosi bamb’ Isandla that Mangena describes as very successful.
“The album has eight tracks with one of them not being my own composition but being Sengwayo’s Awe Mdali. For me that album was highly successful as I managed to sell over 1 000 physical copies,” said Mangena.
He said as a musician, it was difficult to record during these trying economic times.
“Recording an album is very challenging because that involves a lot of money. Transport money is needed for backing singers and they all have to eat. Besides that I have to pay for studio time. So I’m not recording songs at the rate that I want. So if I save up money I try and get the album done slowly but surely,” said Mangena.
He said if all goes well he would record a music video for the song.
“After the release of the song, I’ll be doing a music video. After that, at the end of the year, I expect to drop an album, Sabela, which will feature this song I’m releasing,” said Mangena.