Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
SWAZILAND gospel musician Shongwe says he would have left the music industry a long time ago if he was after money, but since money is not as important as the message his music delivers, he is going strong.
Shongwe and his Khuphuka Saved Group have been at it for the past 22 years. Over these years, Shongwe said he learnt that if one has their eyes set on the money, they will quit in no time.
“Those who do it for the money lose steam very fast in this industry. This is because when they don’t get the money, they leave. If I was doing gospel music for the money, I’d have left (music) a long time ago.
“However, I’m doing this to preach the gospel, that’s my priority,” said Shongwe on the sidelines of the Gwanda International Gospel Festival last week.
He said he had to endure his music being pirated, but was content with the fact that the gospel was being preached to many people.
“I’ve been cheated by people, but as long as the message has been preached and people have heard it, then I’m content. Even after the CDs were pirated, I still sailed through.
“I always say to myself ‘even if it’s painful to be robbed of your hard work though piracy, at least the message in the music reaches people’,” said Shongwe.
The artiste, who has songs such as Itshe Lokuphila, UJehova Uvumile, Hamba Vangeli and Lena Yinkinga from his 22 albums, said people need love and comfort adding that this is the message behind all his music.
“I released my first album in 1997 and up to date, I’ve close to 22 albums. There’s so much I’ve seen, but in all these years, I’ve realised that people are looking for love. A lot of people have been battered and bruised by life and need to be comforted.
“That’s why I composed the song Konke Kuhamba Kahle. It talks about things not going well now, but how with hope, they might come right tomorrow or in the near future. That’s the message.”
When he was performing at the Gwanda gospel festival last Saturday, the crowd loved his music as they sang along to all the tracks. Judging by his interaction with the crowd, it was clear his performance was much anticipated.
Shongwe, who was in Zimbabwe for the second time after a visit in 2012, said he felt at home when he was on the Gwanda stage.
“When I was on stage, I felt electrified seeing people sing and dance to my music. All that blessing comes from Heaven and its God’s favour. We’ve been in the industry for years, but God has kept us for all this time and I’d like to thank Him,” said Shongwe.
He said in future, he would like to hold his own show in Zimbabwe.