Creatives Under Lockdown is a SABC News feature that focuses on issues affecting artists. This week, Wacha Mkhukhu’s Sivenathi Cekiso talks about the group’s struggle for recognition in the music industry.
The gospel music group Wacha Mkhukhu was formed in 2005. The name is derived from the Zion Christian Church’s (ZCC) male choir, called Mokhukhu.
Sivenathi Cekiso, one of the members of the group, says the group was formed to create music that heals.
“The group was founded by the people if I should say because after hearing a group by Mojeremane and Nkosana, the people asked for a type of music that is similar, if not exactly the same as the Mokhukhu music. So, the two took it upon themselves to form the group called Wacha Mkhukhu which is now led by Ndumiso Mabena who is the protege of Nkosana Charles Godi.”
Wacha Mkhukhu is the first ZCC group to be nominated in the South African Music Awards (SAMAs) in 25 years. The group was nominated for the Best African Indigenous Faith Album for their latest offering ‘Modula Sione Ore Utlwe’.
Although the award went to Amadodana Ase Wesile for the Lona Ba Ratang Ho Phela album, Cekiso says the nomination in itself was a victory for the group.
“That is actually a long emotional journey to be honest because we have worked really hard, the founding fathers of the group have worked really hard and it is sad that they did not see this moment. It is quite sad that their work was not recognised for all these years. We have been trying to get recognition for years, from the SAMAs and other awards, but we didn’t give up. Finally, we got our recognition which was exciting.”
Coronavirus lockdown impact
Cekiso says the group has lost out on opportunities because of the lockdown. In March, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. No gatherings were allowed.
A concern also raised by Durban artists who took to the streets this week, calling for the further easing of lockdown regulations so that they can resume making money through gigs.
“It has deeply affected us in so many ways. We have missed out on a lot of opportunities, lots of concerts, COVID has really shuttered so many lives but hopefully when everything settles God will provide,” Cekiso explains.
Wacha Mkhukhu plans to release more albums in the future. “We are growing; we are maturing and expanding as a group, so there is a lot we are going to offer.”
Below is an interview with Wacha Mkhukhu’s Social Media Manager:
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