THE New Hanover born Afro-Pop artist Minenhle Zakwe has released his first extended play (EP) with three songs. After many years struggling to find a recording company, Zakwe did not despair, but he worker even harder to preserve his talent in music. The title of his EP is Umthandazo [The Prayer] and has two love songs and the other is titled Khumbulekhaya. Zakwe said the title of his EP came into being after he encountered challenges to find a recording company. “The title of my EP is a true reflection of the challenges and teething problems I have encountered while searching for a recording company.“I named it Umthandazo because I have been praying for a brighter future and prosperity in my life. There was a time when I almost gave up in life. I then met Scebi Mnomiya who signed me into his recording company to be one of his artists. For this, I figured it out that it was perhaps the beginning of a brighter future after I have been searching for a recording company for many years. It’s indeed a dream come true for me,” he said.In his EP Zakwe featured Scebi Mnomiya, Stanza Mkhize and other experienced artists.After finding a recording company, he recorded three songs in two days. Zakwe’s love of music began at the primary school after joining a music group at school. His unique and natural voice impressed the leader of the group. He was later elected the leader of the music group He told the Gazette that when he is not in studio, he spends time with other artists shooting films. As the country is on national lockdown, Zakwe is working harder to promote his music on social media and other digital platforms. He created a group of WhatsApp in order to reach his audience. “I used WhatsApp and other digital platforms to make it much easier for my supporters to listen to my music. I use this opportunity to entertain the public while they are at home as our we are on national lockdown,” he said.He advised the youth to work harder and not underestimate the skills that they possess. “Anyone willing to follow on my tap into the music industry should not feel despair when they experience obstacles. Being a public figure comes with a lot of challenges. So, they should persevere and work harder,” he added.