After three decades of musical success, one of SA’s biggest gospel stars, Rebecca Malope, is set to share her life story in a self-produced musical showcase, Angingedwa: This Is My Story. Join us on a short backstage tour, as Malope takes time out of her busy schedule, at Carnival City’s Big Top Arena, to share details of how the idea for the production came about, and also why she chose to play herself in this personal account of her life. What inspired Angingedwa? My daughter and manager, Nolu Malope, came up with the idea while we talked about howt we should celebrate my 30th year in the music industry. It’s something I’d never done before and a way for me to share what happened before and behind the music. It also allows me to mentor and groom upcoming talent. How did the show’s name come about? It’s one of my songs that speaks about how God has been there throughout my trials in life. I’ve never been and will never be alone because of his presence. My life story showcases that testimony, and so this was the perfect name for it. Who will play your younger self? Pamela, a very talented eight-year-old actress who makes me cry every time she performs. I can’t wait for people to see her. Then, Nonhlanhla will portray my teenage years up until the time I sang disco. Name some of the other cast members? We held auditions over four days to discover new talent so most of my cast members are upcoming artists but I also have Sana Mchunu (Nomarashiya on Muvhango), who will be playing my cruel aunt, and gospel singers Phuthuma Tiso, Sabatha Masoka and Myrah will also be part of the musical. Which aspects of your life will the focus on? It will cover the story of my mom and dad, before I was born, and take the audience on a journey of my life from birth, poverty, rape to abandonment and my eventual success in the in music business. What advice do you have for young girls and women in situations of abuse? Never blame yourself for the abusers actions no matter what the abuser may have you believe. Get out of the abusive situation as fast as you can because no matter how much he/she promises to never do it again, they always do and it can sometimes end in death. You are valuable and deserve to be loved and treated well. Don’t let anybody brainwash you into believing otherwise. What’s the core message of the musical? No matter what situation you find yourself in, prayer and hard work will take you from sorrow to success, and from poverty to prosperity. Never give up because the impossible can become possible. Angingedwa: This Is My Story will be staged at Carnival City’s Big Top Arena, east of Joburg, on 3 December and plans are underway to tour the country in 2017.