Simply Chrysolite wins Best International Act

2011-10-29 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL’S gospel girl band Simply Chrysolite keeps on shooting to new heights.

In 2007, the six young ladies walked into Tim Omotoso Global Outreach church for an audition and have never looked back since.

With no formal training, the group, comprising Thabiso Mkhize, Phumzile Ngcobo, Hlengiwe Nguse and Thabzo Mkhwanazi, all from Umlazi; Mabongi Shinga from Lamontville; and Dolce Bophela from Pietermaritzburg, released their debut self-titled album.

After winning a Crown gospel award last year, their debut album was last Saturday also awarded the Best International Act at the Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts (BEFFTA) in London, U.K.

Mkhwanazi, the band’s lead singer, tells us about their musical journey and successes.

“I remember the day we went to church to audition for a spot in the choir. It was so nerve-racking but we knew that we wanted to do this and we love gospel music. Then we became part of the ministry and started growing under the leadership of Reverend Tim Omotoso. We have performed at the One World Music Festival in 2008, sharing the stage with Kirk Franklin, now we have won an award in London.

“It is just unbelievable how far we have gone,” said Mkhwanazi.

While the list of girls’ gospel achievements may sound like boasting to some, for them it is

the reward of hard work and dedication. Not many woman aged between 18 to 25 years can say they trumped Kelly Rowland and Teargas to win the Best International Act award at the BEFFTAs.

They are also nominated for Best International Song of the Year and Best International Album of the Year at the 2011 Gospel Music Awards Ireland.

For next year, they have been invited to perform at the International Gospel Festival in Kingston — making Simply Chrysolite the first and to date only African group to perform in this festival.

“It is amazing how everything leading up to the award happened. Someone from London heard our song on the Internet and decided to enter us into the awards and we won. All the things we have achieved are through mentorship and hard work.

“We are just six girls who took their characters and added Christ to them by exploring our love for gospel music,” said Mkhwanazi.

Simply Chrysolite is definately a gem in the SA music industry.

• thandiwe.jumo@witness.co.za

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