ANOTHER FEATHER IN SHONGWE AND KHUPHUKA SAVED’S CAP
n August 1997, an unlikely gem was born from the remote area of Khuphuka under Hlane InkhundlaintheKingdomofSwaziland.
Thegroup;ShongweandKhuphuka Saved, was to later become a household name in the gospel music circles and raked in several honours locally and beyond.
Seemingly 20 years later, this group is still on an upward trajectory as their recentalbum released in August has now reached gold status. To be classified as having attained gold status, album sales should have reached over 20 000 as defined by theRecordingIndustryofSouthAfrica (RiSA) . This means the famous artist of
fame achieved such unprecedented feat in a space of hardly two months since releasing his album.
The much acclaimed group debuted with‘MySins’(Izono 1997.
These days have been quite busy for the likable but humble artist with several shows lined up for them, including in the promotion of the new E10 and E200 notes by Umntsholi WemaSwati – Central Bank of Swaziland.
Last Saturday Shongwe performed in Pigg’s Peak at the Tru Pep Arena during a roadshow organised by SincepheteloMotorVehicleAccidents Fund (SMVAF) where he further cel- ebrated his recent successes.
But he is planning a big party to celebrate his achievement, noting it made him realise he had to continue doing what impressed fans and followers of gospel music at large.
He concedes that the plaudits coming his way over the years have often surprised him but his prayer through it all, he noted, is to remain humble and true to his calling of serving the fans dutifully and diligently.
It is in that regard that he is planning the big celebration as a way of paying tribute to his fans that have remained loyal to Shongwe and Khuphuka’s music over the years.
“In fact even such invitations from the corporate sector are a vote of confidence in our work which we appreciate so much. It is humbling when after all these years people still take time to listen to what you have to offer them and agree to indulge in it.
“Our sincere promise or undertaking is that we will continue giving out the best to them through remaining true to the calling whilst also producing hit songs,” he says.
The beat goes on in December 16 as the group has been booked to perform in Ermelo, SA, at the El Shaddai TabernaclewhereMpumalangaPraise would be launching their new CD
The busy schedule for the group has seen them touring a number of provinces in SA, including Cape Town recently where the group serenaded South Africans and left them yearning for more.
Lest we forget, Shongwe and Khuphuka is the only local music group to have appeared on CNN (Cable News Network - an American basic cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Turner Broadcasting System).
One of the popular tracks in the recent album is track two;
which encourages one not to despair or give up as daytime or breakthrough in whateversituationthelistenerisfacingwould eventually come to an end. Equally, loved by many is track six,
(I have a deal with Jehovah) where the artist notes that the successes should be attributed to God and no one else. It is unlike that Shongwe is either a crook or asheputsitinthetrackbutsucceeding because of full dependence on God who sustains him. An up-tempo beat is
(track four) which is about reminiscing about the joy Elizabeth felt after meeting Mary the mother of Jesus in
Luke 1: 41
‘WhenElizabethheardMary’sgreeting, the baby (Jesus) leaped in her womb, and ... But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’
Reverend Elias Shongwe formed his group around 1996, which saw them releasing their debut album a year later. During the initial stages hewasworkingwithSiphoMakhabane, Director of Big Fish Music who was at the time running Amanxusa Music Productions.
Now in the latest album the friendship and partnership between the two has been reignited once more as Big Fish Music would be handling distributing of alongside Shongwe Music.
Reflecting back to the times they started out and the period spent ministering in song, he says, they are motivated to persevere against all odds. Bantu Banamuhla Umhlaba Khetha Asimbambe Wenzeni Emhlabeni Best of Shongwe and Khuphuka Saved Volume 1 Uzawukhona Na? Kuyasiza Ukuzikhuza Kuhle Kukholwa Nelethu Lihlatjiwe (solo album by Rev Shongwe)
Best of Shongwe and Khuphuka (Live CD/DVD recording)
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2015 2016
2017 one Qiniselani Maqhawe ThulaAmazuluAkubhekile Kungumusa kaJesu UJehova Uvumile Ungavivaphi (Do not give
Some of the group’s albums have reached double-platinum sales such as and platinum while others achieved gold statuses such as and the
The group has won several awards such as Swazi Telecom Song of the Year (Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture Awards), Best Gospel Traditional Song (Glory Awards),SongoftheYear(Swaziland Gospel Music Awards), Appreciation and Commendation for Supporting (Harvest FM Lesotho), Best Gospel Traditional Song 1999.
In last year’s Swaziland Gospel Awards, Shongwe and Khuphuka scooped the Album of the Year award for (‘Do not give up’). Shongwe and Khuphuka Saved was nominated for the SABC Gospel CrownAwards(BestAfricanGospel) and South African Music Awards (Best Traditional Gospel).
Their staying power, strength and resilience are just not in doubt since debuting in 1997. The group was previouslymanagedbyAmanxusaMusic Productions, then CCP Records and now falls under Shongwe Music Productions,whosedirectorisReverend Elias M. Shongwe.
Some of the albums are available on iTunes; and