Words of lockdown wisdom from Port Elizabeth singer
During a time of uncertainty where people’s lives are threatened and families stand to lose loved ones to Covid-19, music and love form a universal language crucial to the healing the world needs.
As someone who lost her mother to HIV — a virus that once shook SA in a similar manner — Port Elizabeth singer Nomfusi Ngonyama encourages the public to extend love and sympathy as the world grapples a global pandemic.
“What we need to bear in mind is that this pandemic will go down as a historic event to other people while others will remember it as the monster that took the lives of their loved ones.
“The impact will be different and we need to be compassionate towards one another during this time,” she said.
With her two newly released singles Ngenene and The Hymn, the singer emphasises the healing aspect of love in times of hardship and the importance of leaning on God in times of darkness.
“The [Ngenene] song came in 2018 when I was going through a lot. I was pregnant, losing my home and to add salt to the injury, I was not getting gigs! I thought I was going to lose my mind,” she says.
It was remembering love in its essence that rescued her, she said.
“It was when I looked for love from within that I found real love. I now know how to search for love within me and give it to myself and others.
“I strongly believe self-love can change everything.
“The message I want to send through this song is that we ought to love ourselves first before giving love to others. You cannot give what you don’t have,” she said.
Love had also saved her when she suffered the pain of losing her mother and later her sister to HIV/Aids, she said.
The Kwazakhele songstress was just 12 years old when her mother died.
Against the odds, the singer’s star shone and landed her on international stages alongside the likes of Lionel Richie and the late jazz legend Hugh Masekela.
The soul singer has accumulated a large audience in Europe, where she spends much of her time touring.
As is the situation with other artists, the year’s plans have been put on hold for the star, who had planned to release a new album in May.
The two singles are from the album yet to be named.
“Everything is such a mess at the moment because we've had to put everything on hold,” she said.
“The plan was to release the album in May and then take it on tour in Europe as it will be summer that side and then return home later in the year to promote the album this side.
“At the moment we just have to wait and see what happens, but I am really optimistic that we can beat this virus as South Africans,” she said.
Ngenene and The Hymn are on digital music platforms.