The South African music industry has produced great artists who have made waves both within the African continent and beyond. Amongst them is Sipho Makhabane, a South African gospel musician, popularly known as the “Big Fish”. Sipho has recorded tremendous success not just as a gospel musician since but also as a music producer. For Sipho, it is not just about the money or financial gains, the talented gospel singer is more concerned with the positive impact his song creates. For him, it is about drawing people to God in heaven.
Through his music which is also about his story, challenges, and breakthrough, Sipho has become an inspiration to this generation. He has inspired and also helped raise next-generation gospel musicians with his extraordinary talent. Find out more interesting facts about the Big Fish below.
Sipho Makhabane’s Biography
The singer was born Sipho Makhabane in Swaziland, South Africa on the 3rd day of November 1965. He was born into a very poor family and things, however, got worse when he lost his father at a very young age. As a result, Makhabane had to drop out of school even before completing his primary education. Afterward, he started doing several odd jobs in order to support his mother.
He first worked on a sugar plantation, before moving on to work with the Kruger National Park as a construction worker. By the age of 21, Sipho had sharpened his skills enough to get a job with Pienaar as a construction worker. And while working there, Big Fish kept nurturing his passion for music. However, it was when started working for Telkom that he took his music career to the next level.
His Music Career and Journey To Fame
Starting his career as a gospel artist during the mid-90s, Sipho Makhabane took the South African music industry by the storm, when he released his first two hit songs – Ngitinikela Kuwe and Yek’intokozo in 1996. Following the success of these songs, he launched a few more studio albums, including Thum’umlolo and Uliqhawe, which turned out to be incredibly successful.
His fourth studio album Uyigugu came in 1998 and the following year, he released another hit album, Makadunyiswe. At the turn of the Millenium, he released Calvary in 2001 followed by Moya Wami, which came in 2003. 2005 saw the artist release the album Umuzi Omuhle and in 2008, he dropped Hamba Nami. After the release of his album Ebenezer in 2009, Sipho Makhabane officially announced his retirement from music.
The announcement was followed by a much-publicized event that was held at the Pretoria State Theatre. Through the event, he released another hit album titled Devil Is A Liar in 2011. After his retirement, the singer channeled his focus on developing young talents. More so, he established his own record label called Big Fish Music, through which he has groomed popular stars like Tshepiso Motaung, Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Frans Dlamini, Pastor Ncanda, and many others.
Additionally, Sipho has appeared on a few TV shows including I Want to Sing Gospel season 3, where he served as a judge in 2014. The reality TV show began in 2008, with its focus on discovering young gospel artists and giving them the opportunity to make it big in the industry.
Awards and Recognition
Over the course of his career, the SA gospel legend Sipho Makhabane has won several awards and recognitions. Some of which include the following:
- In 2001 and 2007, he won the Best Producer at the Glory Awards held in Swaziland.
- Sipho’s collaboration album with Jabu Hlongwane of Joyous Celebration bagged him the award for Best Traditional Gospel at the 2007 South African Music Awards.
- In 2008, he clinched The Mama Beka Community Empowerment Award
- In 2013, Makhabane was nominated for the Best Classic of All Times Award at SABC Crown Gospel Awards.
- He has as well been nominated for KORA, awards, on the continental stage.
Sipho is also a philanthropist and has traveled the world doing what he knows best. He has performed in different countries including Zambia, Swaziland, and the United Kingdom. He has shared the stage with popular artists like Kirk Franklin and many others. Sipho has also contributed to youth education and other charities.
Does Sipho Makhabane Have a Wife?
Despite his childhood experiences, the South African gospel music star has gone on to build his own family. He is a happily married man, nevertheless, there is no much information available with regards to his wife and family. According to reports, the singer got hitched in the year 1990. More so, it is also not known if he has children or not. Apparently, Sipho enjoys keeping the details of his personal life under the radar.
In 2014, the singer survived a car accident that almost cost his life. The car crash occurred on December 28, 2014, while he was on his way to church. Following the impact of the crash, Makhabane remained unconscious for six days. As a matter of fact, he survived through what many had termed as a miracle.