From church choir to CD

Zandile Bokwana
SINGER and songwriter Thandi Swekile, from Newton Park, dreams of writing a gospel song for award-winning gospel singer Sechaba Pale and sharing a stage with him.
“I discovered my love for music at a very young age. I was eight when I started listening to Brenda Fassie and various other South African artists,” Swekile said.
Swekile, 38, has experience of singing in church choirs. She was a backing vocalist in the Rhema Randburg church choir in Johannesburg before joining the Assembly of God’s church choir in Westering when she returned to Port Elizabeth eight years ago.
The artist has a 10-track gospel album which she co-wrote with friend Alva Wenning, titled Come as You Are.
It was produced by local producer Siya Hlekani. “The album’s title refers to God accepting us the way we are. Most of the songs on the album were written by me,” she said. The album is currently getting airplay on the local radio station Kingfisher FM.
The songwriter is also presently writing more gospel songs but said she will release the album when the time is right.
Asked what she thinks of South African music, she said “our music is improving and that we need to fight piracy, as it kills the future of our music”.
Her favourite songwriters are gospel stars Rebecca Malope and Hlengiwe Mhlaba.
When she is not singing in the church choir or writing songs, she spends her time reading books. “I absolutely love reading!”

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