Gospel group soars ever higher

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Swaziland gospel group Ncandweni Christ Ambassadors is really making a name for itself in the South Africa music scene.

Introduced to the local market a few years ago, Ncandweni has now made Mzansi its home base. With their latest offering, Silindel'Usuku, the group's 12th, it shows that they are as popular as ever. Fans across the country are buying the CD in droves.

Released in November, the album has already achieved double platinum - it has achieved sales in excess of 100000 copies. After the incredible success of the group's previous album, Izethembiso Zenkosi, this one is no exception. Izethembiso Zenkosi sold more than 400000 copies.

The nine-member group has dazzled gospel lovers with their passionate, stunning vocal ranges.

Group leader Timothy Myeni says the decision to delay the release of the latest album is paying dividends in the form of ever-increasing sales.

"It's truly amazing how people have responded to the album. God has been great to us all the way," he says.

"I noticed with our previous album that people liked the worshiping song Christ Died For Me. We have included a lot of praying songs in this album."

Ncandweni boasts a refreshing gospel sound "because we don't try to change our voices. We sing the way we sing in church. Our music is very spiritual and touches people's hearts. Our secret is that we don't sit down to compose songs. We use sermons as songs," Myeni adds.

The group recorded their first album in 1998. They have subsequently released albums such as Isimemo Sika Jehovah,Ngizobambelela, Inkanyezi Emhlophe, Sizwile Izindaba,Umoya Wenkosi and Bakhiphe Moses.

However, Buya Nkosi Jesu, an album they released in 2005, really brought the group to the fore of local gospel music because it sold 500000 units.

The group has already won two Crown Gospel awards.