Jongie and Sihlanu are are considered one of the best budding gospel duos in the country and over the years they have worked tirelessly to cement their names in the gospel industry.
They have been making gospel music for more than 10 years, during which time they have released five albums. They have just released their latest 15-track album titled Ungumhlobo which has taken the gospel industry by storm – and which they believe is one of the best albums they have worked on.
They said their music journey began in 2005 when they met in a community gospel group which they opted to leave so they could work together.
They told Vukani that they had believed their voices would work well together and that they had the talent and courage to launch a career in music.
However, things did not go as smoothly as they had hoped, with countless challenges testing their perseverance and faith in the early days.
But, their prayers were answered in 2006 when they recorded their first album, Sikelela Jesu, which they paid for through hosting a number of fundraising initiatives.
Jongie Magaba said they believed in what they were doing and had made a pact with each other that nothing would stand in their way of turning their dreams into a reality.
The 32-year-old said for five years they promoted their album with the aim of raising money to record their second album. This, he said, had not been easy because, at the time, they were still relative newcomers in the industry.
Eventually, however, people started recognising them and through the support of their fans, in 2010, they recorded their second album, Makabongwe which opened many doors for them and remains one of their best selling albums.
Through that album, he said, they became well-known.
“We write songs from personal experience we have endured. We listen to other people’s challenges and draw inspirations from their life stories and pen them down.
“We also take a look at things happening in our country and write songs from that perspective. Our songs are aimed at delivering motivational messages and praising the creator for the many life chances he gives us to live.
“We are young people so we accommodate our peers too,” he said.
Sihlanu Tshaka described their second album as a crowd-puller on which they blended the traditional gospel with contemporary rhythms.
He said the album tackled many of the challenges people faced in their daily lives, in the hope that they could provide some comfort and hope. He said they were thrilled to have been able to rub shoulders with artists such as Lundi, Dumi Mkokstad, Veliswa Skeyi, Nobathembu and Reverend Mkabile Nkomfa and that their ultimate goal was to be known country wide.