The Sunday News
WHEN Bothwell Nkomo moved to Mzansi a decade ago in search of greener pastures in the City of Gold, he knew at the back in his mind that patience was to play a pivotal role in his hustle and stay in Jozi.
Just like many folks who migrated from Zimbabwe to South Africa, Bekezela shares his equal hardship experiences and ups and downs in his lifetime across the South of Limpopo.
The soulful musician was paid R200 a week on his first job working at a hotel in Berea, but still as a visionary lad, he consistently became patient and handled the situation maturely.
Little fortune would come his way, as he found a job at Sandton’s leafy restaurant, News Café as a waiter, a place which gave him a greater chance in life and in his music career.
With the little he got, the Bulawayo-born star would record a demo album which featured one of the hit songs which introduced him to the world, Bekezela.
Bekezela means patience in isiNdebele/IsiZulu.
One of Muthaland Entertainment handlers, Sipho Nyathela once revealed he heard the song Bekezela while he was enjoying with friends at a party.
“The first time I heard the song (Bekezela), I was at a party in Soweto with a few friends, the DJ played the song and many people there seemed to be knowing the song, and I got shocked when I discovered I am among the few who didn’t know it,” said Nyathela.
After he (Nyathela) asked the DJ the artiste’s name of the song, calls were made in more than two months in trying to search and find Bekezela, who was then trading as Bhozo in the music scene.
When he was found, he would re-record the song Bekezela at the Muthaland Studio with Bongani Sax complementing the production with his saxophone rhythm.
A star was born in that session.
The world all over, in Europe, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Malawi, you can name them, they all sang Bekezela, the song of patience.
The offering got him nominated for a number of awards in Mzansi and back home in the City of Kings including the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAAs), an event held annually which afforded Bekezela more than three awards.
Fast forward to present day, many have been asking the whereabouts of Bekezela, a personality which always gave them wedding hymns like Siyatshadisa.
He told Sunday Life that he has been working tirelessly in the studio perfecting his much-anticipated album which will be called UnguThixo, a project which will redefine him as a brand.
UnguThixo, translates to you are a true God.
“I have been doing a number of collaborative works after the release of the album Bekezela, I have worked with Candy TsaMandebele on a number of projects which all became fruitful with Upenyu Unenge Viri proving to be the prominent one as it boasts of South African Music Awards (Samas) nominations and a gong,” said Bekezela.
The most recent testimonial projects that Bekezela is returning unpredictable with in the game is MaKhumalo featuring Berita and Vumani which is a collaborative effort with famed DJ Mobi Dixon on his latest album, The Chapel.
As if that is not enough, on 6 December which was his birthday, a new Bekezela was reborn at a media launch held at Hongula Restaurant (former News Café).
He pledged a new single Uluju which was accompanied by visuals which are standing on 250 000 views on YouTube which was released a fortnight ago.
“Uluju is a praising poetry production infused with modern musical elements and amazing display of vocal prowess. Uluju means honey and in the context of the song, it depicts and praises the beauty of a woman who has charmed a Prince.
“In this song I retraced my Ndebele roots in terms of fashion and the poetry sound itself, this was my birthday present to myself and it’s a banner which directs my fans the direction I am heading to in my next project UnguThixo,” said Bekezela.
The instrumental of the song (Uluju) which is a fusion of Afro-Pop sound and up-tempo house production was inspired by different artistes he has worked with including Mobi Dixon.
Not only did Bekezela rebrand himself as an artiste, his approach in business has also taken a turn as he is building his Bekezela Music company on solid foundations in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders and companies.
Hongula Restaurant, a place where Bekezela used to work as a waiter while it was still News Café, has collaborated with Bekezela Music in a deal that will see Bekezela staging unplugged sessions every Sunday commencing in the new year 2021.
“I have also collaborated with Ziiki Media, its an international distribution deal, which will see my fans all over the world accessing my music on the platform. I have also made a number of business initiatives with Blue Kingdom so as to raise awareness on the importance of having a life policy as artistes and individuals,” he said.
Bekezela’s fans, brace for UnguThixo album which is set to be released in May 2021.