Mpumie’s road to recuperation

2018-06-28 06:03
Gospel singer Mpumie Daphula during a live recording session for her latest offeringPHOTO: elvis nyelenzi

Gospel singer Mpumie Daphula during a live recording session for her latest offeringPHOTO: elvis nyelenzi

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DESPITE losing her husband in December 2013 and being involved in a car accident in 2014, in which she almost lost her life, leaving her right arm broken and her body rigid, Nompumelelo “Mpumie” Dapula has recently recorded a live DVD at the Belville Civic Centre.

The gospel sensation lost her husband Patric Jack in December 2013.

He used to run the 24/7 recording company, during which time all her four albums were recorded.

As if that was not enough, with dark seemingly looming overhead, she was involved in an accident the following month in January 2014.

A 20cm steel plate was installed in her right arm and will forever be stuck in her body. Afterwards doctors told her to take a break from singing.

She was told she will not be able to hold a microphone for more than an hour.

“I was advised that I should use earphones. I tried it but it did not feel right. I felt like I was not giving my best,” says bubbly Dapula.

Because of her gift and love for gospel music, Dapula has defied doctor’s orders.

She has just recorded a live DVD. She could not forget the day when a car she was travelling in rolled and plunged into Liesbeek River between Langa and Pinelands.

“I was drowning, lost consciousness. Then I had a voice saying ‘put up your left arm because your right one is broken’,” she says.

In hospital, doctors had given up on her, she said.

She spent the next three months in a hospital ward. She said she underwent physiotherapy for four years.

Dapula believes her singing career is a realisation of her late father Foguto “Mpinga” Dapula’s prophecies.

Mpinga as her father was fondly known, was the founder of the KwaMpinga Church. In its heyday, the church was the biggest in Cape Town.

She said at 12, her father had prophesied that she would sing gospel.

“He bought me a birthday present wrapped in a brown box. To my surprise, when I opened it, I found a piano. I didn’t even know how to play it then. He said to me: “God showed me that you will sing gospel and save a lot of people’.”

She says his father’s driver taught her how to play the instrument.

“One Sunday my father asked me to play for the congregation ... I performed a song called Mandihlika Kulomhlaba. I did well for a learner. Then he said ‘You see I told you’.”

From there Mpumie’s talent was unleashed. At 14, she was a lead singer in her church choir called New Life. At 18 she formed a choir called Way of Life.

Her music career flourished in 2001 after she married Jack.

She became his first artist. Between 2007 and 2010 Dapula would go on and produce four gospel albums.

“He died in 2013 after I had just recorded my first live DVD at Jam Rock Theatre in Brackenfell. That was a blow to my music career. I grieved and thought I would never progress as I had just lost my pillar of strength,” says Dapula.

While she was still mourning the death of her husband, she was involved in a car accident that almost claimed her life.

“A car we were travelling in to town rolled between Langa and Pinelands. It fell into a river. The paramedics came and rescued everyone. I was left under water. Then I had a voice saying ‘Lift up your left arm because your right arm is broken’. All that time I was unconscious. But I heard someone shouting ‘Hey there is someone there’. That was how I was rescued. It was by the grace of God. I thank Him that I am still alive today.”

She says she was admitted to hospital where her dreams were further dashed.

“The doctors just gave up. I was told I will never be able to do anything on my own. I spent three months there. I was discharged but still I spent another four years undergoing physiotherapy.”

Dapula then told doctors that she is a singer. Her spirit was discouraged when she was given orders not to hold a microphone for a long time.

“I was advised to use ear microphone. I was told my arm would get tired if I held on to a microphone for too long. I was told not to stand up for too long. I was told to avoid being in a car or a plane for long hours.”

Through the love and passion for music she has defied those orders and performed her live DVD.

“My arm was shaking from the weight of a microphone but I kept holding until I felt it no more. I stood for hours. I could not let my fans down. Gospel fans came in numbers to fill 750-seater centre.”

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