Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
GOSPEL musician Mkhululi Bhebhe says he is still to come to terms with the loss of his mother as her death in May this year, left him heartbroken.
Mkhululi’s mother died in Bulawayo on May 30 while he was in Kenya for a gospel concert and he had to cut the trip short.
Opening up for the first time about his mother’s death, Mkhululi said he went on with one of the performances in Kenya after receiving the news and this was his most difficult time on stage in his career.
“I heard the news in the afternoon and I was scheduled to perform on the Friday and Sunday. It was very difficult standing on that stage and giving my best. I had to perform in the midst of such a great loss and pain and we laid her to rest days later in Bulawayo,” he said.
Mkhululi described his mother as his first love saying he was still coming to terms with her death.
“It’s honestly the toughest time of my life. My mother was my first love and everyday I feel as if my heart has been ripped from my chest. I miss her so much. She gave up on a lot of things to raise her children well.
“She was a phenomenal woman and that is why losing her is something I’m finding impossible to live with,” he said.
Turning to his music, Mkhululi said he loves the support he gets whenever he is in Zimbabwe.
Last year, the former Idols Africa finalist launched his debut album Ultimate Praise Experience. After the success of the launch and concert, Mkhululi said he was considering holding another one in the city.
“After the concert I did last year in Bulawayo, I was left with a feeling of gratitude towards all those who came and supported one of their own. I was very sceptical about doing a show in Bulawayo, but from the amazing support I received, it only makes sense for me to do my next DVD recording in Bulawayo,” he said.
During the concert, there were artistes that he unearthed that would be included in his next recording.
“I unearthed some of the rawest talent in Bulawayo which I intend to showcase as The Ultimate Praise Choir on the recording. Most of them will be given an opportunity to lead songs in the project,” said Mkhululi.
Although over 1 000 people attended his concert in December, he feels more can be done by fans to support musicians like him.
“I do understand that in order for one’s name to be recognised, it depends on the quality of music we produce, but without getting the support that we need, it becomes impossible to even come up with the quality production that is expected of us.
“People need to understand that support isn’t saying congratulations and stopping there. Support is about buying the artiste’s music, buying tickets to their shows and not looking for freebies. If we manage to get over that hurdle, believe me, the music industry in Zimbabwe will thrive once again,” said Mkhululi.
This week, Mkhululi shared pictures of him tying the knot with Ashleigh Nonxoloba on social media.
He captioned the pictures with a heartfelt message which read: “The size of a wedding depends on the two people getting married. In as much as it is human nature to want to impose our ideas and expectations on what a wedding should look like, it’s really not about you but it’s about the people who are getting married.
“I thank God for not allowing me and my lovely wife to yield to the pressures of fulfilling other people’s expectations of what our big day should have looked like. We refused to allow any of that to keep us from tying the knot and making our journey right with God. We chose to forego all the glitz and glamour and it’s a decision both of us were happy with. This is the best decision I ever made fam. Follow your heart and ignore the loud voices of pessimism. I love you.”
Explaining the pictures, Mkhululi said he wanted to teach youths that they should not succumb to peer pressure.
“It was a post intended to teach the younger generation that peer pressure should never be the basis of spending what you don’t have in order to satisfy the status quo and spend years repaying debts. If the resources are available, praise God, but if they aren’t, it’s ok.”
He said the wedding happened two years ago and at that time, the couple chose not to go public about it.
“We chose not to go public about the wedding two years ago as people can be too judgmental. We didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because it deters the focus of fans from the music,” said Mkhululi.