TEBELLO USES LIFE STORY TO INSPIRE OTHER WOMEN
THERE’S more to gospel star Tebello Sukwene than just praise and worship. She has come up through the ranks since her days as a backing vocalist for Simphiwe Dana and Lira. She also featured on Jabu Hlongwane’s Crosspower album before joining Joyous Celebration for five years. The charismatic singer from Tsakane, on the East Rand, has drawn on her own life’s journey to affirm the lives of young women. With her initiative, Jesus Alive In Women, which she hosts every August, she brings together women and inspiring speakers under one roof to share their stories. “I share my life and where I come from. The message is ‘when you trust God he will get you out of situations’. “I’ve been through challenges in my life – not having a father. It’s an issue you deal with until you’re older. “It affects a lot of people and some end up doing drugs while other girls sleep with every guy who says ‘I love you’. They just want to be loved in their search for a father figure,” she says. Sukwene says her focus this year is more on motivational speakers. She has identified a powerful speaker, Hlubikazi Jadezweni, who she met recently in the Eastern Cape.
She says Jadezweni’s answers at a seminar she hosted showed insight and wisdom while she came across as nonjudgmental. She says working on self-confidence and the empowerment of women come naturally to her.
“My father was not there. I tried to have a relationship with him but it didn’t work out. I needed to forgive him and let him go. I prayed to God to let him back into my life when he was ready. My heart needs to be in the right place for God to work in it.”
Sukwene says her search for a father figure while she was younger and naive, made her look for love in the wrong places.
“I would go anywhere just to hear ‘I love you’, and in this day and age, all these men wanted was just sex. A lot of women fall into that trap and forget that the Bible says ‘He who finds a wife, finds a good thing’. To be found by a Godly man is precious,” she says.
She has been married for six years to drummer Bafana Sukwene, who is also the brother of Idols winner Musa. They have three children.
Sukwene’s last album, He’s Alive, released in October 2014, is still a favourite in gospel circles.
She registered her Nice Life Productions company in 2013 and staged her first live show at the Soweto Theatre where she recorded He’s Alive.
The show was sold out while the album shot through the iTunes charts before the Sama and Crown Gospel Music Awards rained.
“To say God was good to us is an understatement,” she beams.
She hopes to complete two outstanding projects in the next few months: first her book, Rescued and Restored, and the DVD she recorded in 2013 at Soweto Theatre which has been dogged by technical delays.
Sukwene plans to release another album recorded live next year as soon as she finds sponsors.