From maskandi to gospel

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Popular maskandi group Izingane Zoma has spread its wings to gospel.

The biggest-selling female maskandi group will release a gospel album early next month.

Shobeni Khuzwayo, the brains behind Izingane Zoma's success, told Sowetan that the album is a sign of the group's growth.

"The idea of the album started a long time ago, since we featured the late Vuyo Mokoena on our maskandi albums and received positive response. Last year, Mokoena suggested that we do a full album."

Khuzwayo says that when Mokoena died in May, they had already recorded 10 tracks.

"He became seriously ill and we could not finish the album."

Khuzwayo also pointed out that dropping the gospel album does not mean that they have deserted maskandi. He says they wanted to show their fans how versatile they are as musicians. Khuzwayo says a new maskandi album will follow the gospel one, at the end of November.

No strangers to controversy, Izingane Zoma shocked some people when the group declared their public support for ANC president Jacob Zuma. This declaration nearly put their future on the line. Had Zuma been found guilty of rape, Izingane Zoma could have been ruined.

Their album Msholozi appealed to the South African government to make Zuma president. They did not stop there and went on to stage the Msholozi Music Festival in Soweto and Durban to raise funds for Zuma's case.