Rather than slowing him down, the pain of losing his mother a month ago prompted gospel singer, Richard Mazungula, to go into the studio where he recorded a tribute album to her.
Aptly titled “Mama Ungisheyelani?” (Mom, Why Do You Leave Me?) the 12-track album has been well received by gospel lovers across the country and those who know Nomakula Mazungula who died at the age of 84 years say it is a fitting tribute.
Nomakula, a former dancer, teacher and choir conductor, was awarded a diploma at the 1990 Grahamstown Arts Festival for her sterling contribution to the arts.
“My mother was a leading vocalist and often I would be her backing singer. I literally learnt to sing from the breast and she moulded and guided my musical journey throughout the years,” said Richard, who has already released four albums prior to this.
Sound engineer Hamilton Kubase, who worked on the recording of the album, said it “was a very personal project” for Richard and he “showed great love for his departed mother”.
“He poured out his soul for a mother he dearly loved,” said Hamilton.
The album features backing vocalists of note, including Nkule Khumalo and gospel singers Buntu Magada and Anele Matshisi.
Richard, who is a nurse by profession, says the album is also aimed at soothing listeners as they battle the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I thank everyone who has made this album a success, my colleagues, radio deejays, pastors and church members from various congregations have been a pillar of my strength when a dark cloud fell on me,” he said.