Messages that touch the heart

WITH her eleventh offering, Ke a Itshola, popular gospel singer Matlakala Ramathoka continues to touch the hearts of gospel fans.

WITH her eleventh offering, Ke a Itshola, popular gospel singer Matlakala Ramathoka continues to touch the hearts of gospel fans.

Born in Pretoria 35 years ago Ramathoka is among the top-selling female gospel singers in the country.

Ke a Itshola is further evidence of her popularity among gospel followers.

The album was released only two months ago and has already sold 53000 copies.

Her success lies in the way she delivers her powerful rhythms. Ramathoka's foot-stomping and hand-clapping music pulls at your heartstrings with its rich melodies and lyrics.

Ramathoka has incredible insight and a strong spiritual resolve.

"It is a combination of talent and faith," she explains. "I compose my music by simply observing people and listening to them.

"But mostly my compositions are based on prophecy.

"God uses me as His instrument to convey and spread His word."

With each new recording Ramathoka's confidence has grown and her powerful and beautiful voice once again reigns supreme on this new album.

"I wrote the title track Ke a Itshola after I met heist kingpin Maqhentsa during my visit to a prison in Pretoria," she says.

"After my performance he called me and told me he was ashamed of what he had done.

"He asked me to beg the community to forgive him. I was touched by that call."

The lyrics of the song that moved the prisoner says: "I regret my past actions, Lord; to those of you who are listening, don't make the same mistakes that I made. If I could start over again I would live my life differently."

Ramathoka's music career began in 1992 with the group Masole a Tumelo, one of the giants in the industry.

In 1998 she started pursuing her solo career.

Ramathoka still sings and composes music for Masole a Tumelo and Bana Baka Nana.

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