‘Don’t let fame get into your heads’

SOUTH AFRICAN gospel music artiste Ntokozo Mbambo has implored worshippers not to let fame associated with their work get into their heads.

She raised concern that many Christian worshippers are failing to distinguish their ministry from that of the world.

Mbambo was speaking during a praise and worship workshop held at Zimpraise’s six-day-long International Gospel and Music Festival.

She said it is unfortunate that some young people in worship teams are using drugs before performing.

“The only thing that should give us confidence when presenting in churches is knowing that we are doing God’s work. Pride and arrogance should be put aside.

“If you know that you have a good voice you must also behave, be punctual at rehearsals and always listen to directors. If you do that God will reward you,” she said.

“Don’t neglect prayer and studying the Bible. As worshippers put God first, the main problem that the church is facing with worshippers is that they elevate their voices above everything else.

“We are very much excited about our voices to the extent that we forget God and our calling. As worshippers, our golden rule is ‘doing what God wants us to do and avoiding following worldly trends’. There should be a difference between a worldly gig and a worship service,” said Mbambo.

A recipient of awards at the South African Music Awards, Africa Gospel Music Awards and Crown Gospel Music Awards, Mbambo quoted former American president Abraham Lincoln in expressing what needs to be done to produce quality gospel music.

“If I am given six hours to chop a tree, I will use four hours sharpening my axe and then use two hours in cutting the tree.

“This means much of our time as worshippers should be used in nurturing our talents. Singing is as good as preaching. We cannot do in public what we have never done in private, rehearsal is very important,” she said.

Mbambo became the youngest artiste to join gospel group Joyous Celebration at the age of 15. She said worship teams should be perfected and well cared for as they play a pivotal role in evangelism and church development.

Also sharing in words of wisdom was music maestro and husband to Mbambo, Nqubeko Mbatha. Mbatha said worshippers, including those who lead in churches, ought to know that their pastors are their worship leaders.

“Do not undermine your pastors even if they know nothing about music. God anointed and appointed them to be leaders, they have to be respected,” he said.

Having met as members of Joyous Celebration, Mbambo and Mbatha have been married for nine years and are parents to two daughters.

While Mbambo was nurtured by her parents to pursue gospel music, Mbatha had also fallen in love with music by the age of 12 years.

During the workshop, Mbatha took time to shower Joyous Celebration with praises for providing them with a platform to flourish.

“We are here because of them (Joyous), we are married because of them. Next year we will be celebrating 10 years of our marriage and for the first time we will be releasing an album together with my wife,” he said.

Mbambo has shared the stage with a number of acclaimed gospel musicians who include Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin and Cece Winans.

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