It took him a while to realise that as a gospel artist, one doesn't have to wear suits and pointy shoes all the time and approach life seriously.
He can have fun and preach the gospel musically at the same time.
Award-winning gospel singer Ayanda Ntanzi has a voice that many envy and he's using it to bring fans closer to their faith.
He got his big break in 2017 with his hit song Ngena, which earned him hundreds of fans who've stayed with him on the journey.
“It has really been an interesting journey. There has also been a lot of self-discovery, both as a minister of the gospel as well as a performer. I am in awe of what the Christ is doing in my life, it has been an amazing journey.
“In high school I was never taken seriously because of my voice, but I cannot help that I have a naturally pitched voice.”
One of the things he has discovered was his ability to transform to the artist he is today.
“I mean when I first started, I wanted to look serious. I was wearing suits and ties and very pointy shoes, now I have dropped all of that I have rebranded and freely dressing like the young person I am. Now I wear ripped jeans and sneakers and have good time in the presence of the Lord.”
Ayanda (28) says it is unfortunate that Christianity, especially in the black community is something that has so many rules and regulations about looks.
“You can look cool and modest at same time. You do not have to look like an old man or an old woman so that you can be seen like a devout Christian. Also, why are trying to prove ourselves to other people who did not die on the cross for us?
“We do not have to look all sorrowful, have certain facial expressions to show that you are in the spirit. For the longest time, the gospel that was taught to us was pain and anguish and that is not Biblical. The Bible says who the Son sets free is free indeed and that the joy of the Lord is our strength, so we need to exhibit that joy in how we live. We must live in such a way that people want what we have and want to accept Christ into their hearts as well. Ela vangeli lika noma ngiqgoka amanikiniki must be done away with."
Ayanda says he believes Christians should present the goodness of the Lord that they preach.
“If you say you are the head and not the tail, then you must look like the head. Brethren must walk around like the conquerors they say they are. I know there are people who even go on social media and say I have lost the plot and I respectively disagree. They say even in my dress code, now I am just an artist and I say we use art to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is about good news and we must look the part.”
He does not subscribe to teachings that dictate how Christians should do things because he believes there is freedom in Christ.
As a gospel artist, he sometimes goes to his church, Life Bible Church International, in Pietermaritzburg to keep in touch with his roots.
“In everything we do, we have to be led by the spirit and constantly in touch with God’s voice in order to hear what he is saying in a particular season. I am a born Christian and so I cannot just say I am gospel singer without the owner of the gospel leading me.”
He is at Koko Records with gospel powerhouse Ntokozo Mbambo and her husband Nqubeko Mbatha and he says it is a blessing he constantly thanks God for.
“I learn so much from them. I will always be so grateful that I get to stand on the shoulders of such giants. It is truly divine. It is purely the grace of God and nothing else. I thank God for their guidance, their work ethic and their love for Christ. We are united in love, song and in ministry.”