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Getting to know the gospel sensation Israel Mosehla

By Londiwe Dlomo | 2017-03-14 12:01:01.0

  • Israel Mosehla performing Picture: Supplied

  • Israel and Millicent Mosehla walking the red carpet Picture: Supplied

  • A casual Israel Mosehla in his bikers jacket Picture: Supplied

  • Picture: Supplied

  • Israel Mosehla accepting a Crown Gospel Award Picture: Supplied

  • Picture: Supplied

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Award winning gospel artist and composer Israel Mosehla is 45 minutes early for his interview.

He’s dressed in denim and a leather biker’s jacket, clasping his helmet in one hand and his phones with the other. His appearance is not what we’ve come to expect of Gospel stars. 

The leather jacket is not for show; Mosehla is a member of the bikers club, Harley Owners Group. His current ride is a 2017 Harley Davidson Fat BOB, which he states is a cruising bike. It’s a noisy one he admits but perfect since he rides for relaxation, his other hobby is fishing. He let slip that many of the songs from his new album were written on a fishing trip.

He has a calm air about him. He seems like the type of man who makes a decision and sticks to it.  Mosehla has been married to his wife Millicent for 26 years.  They have six children, five daughters and a son.

Mosehla affirms Gods work in his life with conviction and the sprinkling of scripture and manages not to sound preachy. He has however been preaching as a pastor at Turning Point Worship Centre for three years now.

The Soweto born man of God is admittedly media shy. He fears getting caught up in ‘stardom’ may obscure his purpose.  He also is not much of a fan of awards and believes they can be the cause of envy which mars the purpose of the music.

“Instead of complementing one another we’ll be competing amongst one another and that on its own breaks the industry”

Ten years in the industry

Mosehla took us through his journey to becoming a gospel star with 7 albums and nearly ten years in the industry.  His late father Shadrack Mosehla was a musician and a pastor. Israel and his two brothers attended music school, where he was coached by Mr Masote from the Soweto String Quartet.  

After school Mosehla entered the working world as a till packer at Pick’n Pay. He later went on to work at Makro and also headed the office of Spiritual and Moral development at a corrections facility in Vereeniging.

“There I think God was preparing me for this ministry of preaching the word in song, understanding the frustrations, the pains and the struggles that people go through in life. That sometimes people end up doing what they’re doing not because they want to do it but because of influences like pressure or background,” he said

Mosehla has written songs for Rebbecca Malope, worked with Lord Comforters, Victor Masondo and played the drums for Benajmin Dube at one stage. He was in a group called G-Effect which he says groomed him for the music industry. The group consisted of himself, his brother Isaiah, Jabu Nkabinde and Bongani Mashobane. They toured overseas a lot.  Mosehla finally released his first album titled Nzulu which he worked on with Sipho Makabane. He named it after his father’s favourite hymn.

His second album Endaweni Ephakeme was launched under his own record label Kgabo Music. He has never looked back since. He now has released five other albums under his label. 

His second album is about a rough patch in his life, a time when he even contemplated suicide. His car and house had being repossessed and he’d gotten so low that he gave his wife the option of leaving him.

It was his spiritual upbringing that saved him from these dark thoughts.

Queen Sesoko

He is currently working on his new album which features former Abashante singer Queen Sesoko.  He cannot wait for the general public to hear their collaboration. He stresses that she’s going to surprise people in a pleasant way. Her sound has matured and is anointed he states, their song is titled 'Uyingcwele Baba', it is the title track. 

Mosehla  states his life lessons have taught him how to be a successful musician. Working in retail taught him business principles. When he started his record company he was able to differentiate between business and his ministry.  When asked about what he thinks needs to be done to protect artists in the industry he had this to say,

“If I choose to be reckless with my money I should not blame the industry, I should not blame people. I am the master of my choices.”

He went on further to say that it’s important to invest your money and to take responsibility for one's actions.

“We cannot blame the industry. Yes the industry has its own flaws, but it also becomes our responsibility to make sure we better the industry and you cannot better the industry without bettering yourself. It starts with you then you can influence others,”  he said.

Israel Mosehla will be launching his new album at Change Bible Church in Vereeniging on the 25th of March.