With faith as his conductor and music talent as his instrument, Mthunzi Namba pioneered contemporary gospel music in South Africa. We took in rehearsals for his latest album, The Fellowship.

Mthunzi’s musical journey began when he was working as a lecturer the Transkei Education department. Wanting to pursue music as a career, he got his big break when Blue Mountain Records, an international label, recruited him as an in-house producer, songwriter and vocal arranger.

This saw him work with numerous prominent names in the music industry including Kelly Price, Melonie Daniels, Lynnette Hawkins-Stephens, and Valerie Boyd, to name a few. 

Following his time with Blue Mountain Records, Mthunzi returned to South Africa where he worked as a music producer and announcer for SABC Radio Zulu.

As a strong believer, Mthunzi wanted to honour his faith through music and alongside his friends Hlongwane and Mkhize, they formed Joyous Celebration in 1995. Joyous Celebration is a musical platform that aims to spread the gospel through worship music.

“After the transition that had taken place in our country and we were having a new democracy, [we thought] how can we say to God thank you.” They decided to thank God through music and with it, Joyous Celebration was formed.

Since then, Mthunzi has established himself as one of the trailblazers of contemporary gospel music in the country. Over the course of the last two decades, he has released six albums.

Outside of music, Mthunzi has his hands in construction and property development, and serves as the pastor of the His Glory Worship Tabernacle. But the one thing that he holds dear to his heart is his family.

“The greatest lesson I have learned from my father would have to be to trust God,” explains his daughter, Ayanda Namba, “I’ve seen him work hard and I’ve seen him trust God to come through for him.” With faith as his own guide in turn encouraged self belief in his own daughters.

“The legacy I want to leave behind is that of a person who liked to nurture and develop talent, and as a person who loved God and his family,” he says.


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