Phumla Nkomo: Music to heal the grieving heart
Grief and sorrow have fuelled Phumla Nkomo to pen some of the most beautiful songs for her upcoming album.
We connect via telephone while she is at home in Barberton, Mpumalanga, as she runs errands for her father's tombstone unveiling.
The loss is still fresh for the 23-year-old. Her father died in January after a long illness and now she is taking another step towards acceptance and healing with the tombstone.
She is worried that the local shop is out of the type of flowers she needs for the decor. "My father told me about his wishes for his funeral and unveiling," she says.
It's evident that the two shared a bond like no other.
"His death inspired me instead of destroying me. He is the reason I'm in music."
Nkomo says she has been adapting to life without him, accepting that he is at peace and no longer in pain after being sick for three years.
Nkomo recently graduated with a BA degree in media studies at the University of Limpopo and says she walked the stage smiling, knowing that he was watching over her. Nkomo says a few days before the graduation, her father visited her and told her: "...if you slay, always have your red lipstick," she laughs.
It was while she was still studying that she formed her singing group, the Voice.
Her rendition of Amanda Black's Kahle captured Tzaneen businessman Martin Molewa, who signed her up to his Mabetha Productions music label last year. Her new single, We Njabulo, will be released this month and she says it's a reflection of her state of mind.
Nkomo says she is counting on the music to lift the spirits because the lyrics may be somewhat depressing.
"The sound and beat are amazing, some people will dance and not listen to the words, but when you listen, you will realise their true nature."
Nkomo says she's still building her brand ahead of releasing her full album later this year and that two more singles are on the way.
"I don't want to brag, but my sound is different. I understood myself so much. I bring so much vibe; expect to cry, understand and realise, but most importantly to forgive and move on," she says.