With his Hallelujah Nkateko song hitting the one million mark of views this week, Joyous Celebration’s Sibusiso Mthembu could be the only local gospel musician to make such huge achievement in the music industry.
Mthembu who has become a pop culture phenomenon and made some records along the way, giggles with much excitement knowing how much he has achieved via his Hallelujah Nkateko.
“Eish, one million, I don’t know how I feel,” he said
“It’s an honour and it’s humbling because the song did better than we thought. We used it to heal ourselves after Lihle’s passing away and it helped us through a difficult time. What you see on the video we didn’t rehearse, it literally happened on the day just to show that you can’t dictate to God.”
The 29-year-old native of Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal, though now based in Johannesburg says the response from his fans has been encouraging especially as it has become an anthem to many.
However, Mthembu did turn the credit to the choir for their immense efforts in bringing out the reality of the song.
“It was not about me. It was an effort of the choir. My contribution was to keep it real and to speak from the heart. The lyrics contradicted our feelings. I felt broken but I was saying ‘God is my conqueror’. It took faith to believe in what we are saying and God helped us through.”
Mthembu has according to Sowetanlive, become the poster boy of this generation of Joyous singers, and says that being with the group has empowered him.
S’bu comes from humble beginnings, his life was filled with challenges even though he was a hard worker with determination and great faith in God and that made him the man everybody now admires.
He has been with the gospel theme since 2o12 and has since then, made a great impression with the maskandi gospel track Unkulunkulu Uyangithanda on Joyous 17. His Umoya Praise Medley on Joyous 18 propelled him to even greater heights.
When asked about his future plans in the industry, Sibusiso Mthembu said: “The more people responded positively to my music the more they would ask when I would release an album. This was just my second year and there was a lot of growth to be done first.
“I want to come out of Joyous as a holistic artist. They have allowed me to do other things, learn a lot more about the workings of the industry and I’m making a lot of new contacts.”
Possibly, S’bu will be on the brink of solo glory with a single he is set to release in the near future. He said he needed to choose a song from the five already written.
S’bu completed his medical science degree from Wits University in 2012. He said he struggled to pursue his studies at the university in order to break the family record.
“No one in my family had been to university before me. I was good academically and wanted to study further so I could change things at home. he said.
He had wanted to study further but financial problems derailed him. “It’s quite expensive and to pay off the debt I helped out second-year medical students, as a teaching assistant for three years.”
Interestingly, Sibusiso Mthembu narrated that unlike most musicians, music was never his thing and he did not start singing in the church. His music career actually started when he came to Johannesburg and was persuaded to join the group by Joyous co-founder Lindelani Mkhize who visited his father’s House church in Melville where he worshiped.
Sibusiso Mthembu, however, said joyous celebrations have so much contributed to his successful growth especially in bringing out the best in him.
“I have grown spiritually. Before joining Joyous Celebration I was ignorant about music so Joyous Celebration has been the perfect platform for me to learn and gain exposure. I am blessed to be part of Joyous Celebration and I have grown a lot in the past two years.
Watch Joyous Celebration’s “Hallelujah Nkateko”