MTHANDAZO GATYA ON HUMBLE BEGINNINGS, JOHN LEGEND AND RISE TO STARDOM
How Mthandazo Gatya went from a life which began in a two room shack to a duet with superstar John Legend’. It’s a tale of accomplishment won through hard work and faith. One which he hopes will give others self-belief.
Double platinum selling ‘Senzeni’ singer and songwriter, Mthandazo Gatya’s story is one that will forever fill many with hope and self-belief. From his humble beginnings growing up in his mother’s shack, to joining the school choir, and landing up on top radio stations across the country. These stories seem out of reach where this incredible muso hails from.
After experiencing hardship in his childhood, the musician suffered yet another blow in the wake of his mother’s sudden passing at a tender age, leaving him homeless. However, not all was lost after Mthandazo was taken in by his friend-turned brother, Sibusiso Funani, and his family who took him in as one of their own.
Mthandazo has always been a man of many talents, and although music reaped the rewards, soccer was one of his first loves. Whether it would be making it as a sport’s star or, gracing the world stage with his songs, Mthandazo knew his gifts would one day make him famous, and he was not wrong.
Although many outside SA caught on to his talent succeeding his unforgettable John Legend performance, many South Africans were already familiar with the musician’s powerful voice. His breakout single ‘Senzeni’ saw Mthandazo grace the local radio stations with this hit single week after week. Cementing his position as one the artistes to look out for.
Mthandazo makes honorary mention to Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the late Bra Hugh Masekela and Mam’ Miriam Makeba as his biggest musical influences. Their sounds and style of music heavily molded Mthandazo’s artistry. Birthing the next generation of South African artistes to transport our unique notes to the rest of the world.
As someone who’s work comes from a spiritual place, Mthandazo is always drawn into nature, meditation and finding inspiration from visiting the lakes to unwind and unleash his creativity.
Not only did he release his EP ‘Journey to Infinity’, produced by Nhlonipho Dlamima, on the day he performed the John Legend duet, he did not know just how much his life would change thereafter.
With his name directly translating to ‘Prayer’, his achievements are a living testament of his dreams coming to reality and an overflow of answered prayers.