Marhabula proves his worth

EASTERN Cape has produced many successful maskandi musicians.

EASTERN Cape has produced many successful maskandi musicians.

Marhabula of Bizana is one of the singers who have put the province on the cultural map.

Born Wisa Ndovela, he follows closely in the footsteps of Xhosa maskandi musicians such as Mlindelwa Mralatya and Njemboqo.

Ndovela has just released his third album, Kuzondwa Mna Apha Ekhaya. The album is a fusion of Isimpondo and Zulu.

The shy Ndovela says his music is a reflection of what he experienced while he was growing up in rural Bizana.

"My music reflects my childhood. I grew up in a very poor environment. The hardships I experienced continue to inspire my music because I know people out there still have the same problems," Ndovela says.

"My music also talks to people who came to Joburg looking for greener pastures. Most of them left their homes because things did not work out for them.

"What I say is that no matter what happens in your life, home is home."

His passion for maskandi music started at the age of 14, inspired by musicians such as Mfazomnyama and Phuzekhemisi.

"I used to sing at weddings and at traditional ceremonies for a few rand. Then I moved to Durban."

Growing up in a poor family did not stop him from dreaming.

He says though he faced many challenges, he always hoped and dreamt that things would get better. His break came in 2006 with the album Undli Nkomo Zabantu.

"It did well, though I sold it myself. I was happy to finally record my music after struggling for many years," he recalls.

In 2008, Ndovela released Ungo Wam Lo Baby through Cool Spot Recording.