Popular South African gospel artiste and accolades winner, Winnie Mashaba, ended her 11th album, ‘Modimo o NA LE NNA,’ promotion and tour yesterday (Saturday).
‘Modimo o NA LE NNA’ is not merely a collection of songs, it is an album in the full sense of the word with warm, luscious and extraordinary tracks.
Mashaba, who is moving into her second decade in the South African music industry, delivered another Gospel gem to her thousands of fans throughout southern Africa. The 14-track album arrived just in time for Easter 2011 with key tracks: “Rea Go Boka” and “Modimo O Na Le Nna”, the album’s rousing title tracks.
In an interview with Sunday Standard, Mashaba said she had come to Botswana to endorse her album because Botswana is home to her and she has managed to amass a lot of fans.
Exoda was released in 2000, igniting the Gospel music scene for Mashaba. Of the 25 000 units sold, 70 percent of them were bought in Botswana.
Mashaba honoured the tremendous growth in the Botswana music industry saying, “There is a lot of talent in the musicians that needs to be natured and developed.”
She said the only problem Botswana musicians are faced with is that they lack originality and thus hindering themselves from spreading their wings.
Sharing her experiences as an artiste, Mashaba said, “To make it in this industry you should take music as a hobby and not a career,” adding that ‘youths should not quit school to venture into music as a career.”
The Gospel artiste, who grew up in the Limpopo Province at Steelpoort (Kgosi Phasha), said she began singing when she was still in primary school and, to her, singing was a hobby.
“Modimo O Na Le Nna” is the 11th album of Mashaba’s enviable career that has seen her earn several awards and nominations.
“Modimo O Na Le Nna” follows on the heels of 2010’s ‘Go Tseba Jehovah’, another 14-track album that ensured Mashaba’s stranglehold on the Gospel scene.
It’s no surprise that Mashaba has been able to enjoy such longevity in the highly competitive Gospel music scene: for more than a decade now, she has proved she has the voice, the songs (she composes most of her own material) and the performing ability to stand head-and-shoulders above the crowd.
She commended the strides being made by BOMU and COSBOTS in a bid to combat piracy in the country as it affects artiste revenue.
“This is a milestone achievement because artiste careers worldwide are being destroyed by piracy,” she said. She added that, “the two organizations should have their house in order only then will the artiste be able to trust them.”
On her latest offering, she has several collaborations that also add a new energy to Mashaba’s solo recordings. One of these is “Folang Malwetsi” which features Aneth Maupi Phala and the combination of these two exceptionally strong Gospel vocalists and performers makes for incredible listening. Also adding their inimitable feel to Mashaba’s latest record are vocalists Zanele Zondo, Mjita Bafana and Mbali Vilakazi who joins the artist on the track “Liya Sindisa”.
She sings in several languages, among them sePedi, isiZulu and Shangaan.
“My music is all about reviving the souls of those who listen to it, those with broken spirits,” Winnie explains. “I also talk about issues facing the country, like crime and HIV/AIDS, and give people advice on how to deal with them so it is also empowering. Of course, many of my songs are simply praise songs to God.”
Asked why her fans (spread from South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe right up to Botswana) love her music so much, Winnie says “it’s because people know that I am a loving person”.
“Whether in my professional or personal life, I accommodate everyone and strive to make people happy.”