Former Joyous Celebration singer Ncebakazi Msomi – ‘I pray about everything!’
When someone in her church choir was struggling to finish off a song, she took over.
And a star was born. That’s how music powerhouse Ncebakazi Msomi got her start.
She grew up in the Eastern Cape as a typical church girl at the Assemblies of God in Mdantsane. When she moved to Gauteng, she continued to sing in the church choir.
“A lot of people who aspired to sing professionally used the opportunity as somewhat of an audition but I was not there for that. I knew I was in Joburg for work and I did not even lead any songs that night. Then at around midnight someone requested for our church choir to sing and we only sang two songs, during the second song, the lady who was leading it struggled with the high notes and asked me to finish it off for her,” she recalls.
Lindelani then enquired about her and said he wanted her to be part of Joyous Celebration. She initially thought it could not work because firstly her mom back home would never allow it and secondly she was not prepared to quit her day job.
“He assured me that I would get support even though I had a 9 to 5. As they say in showbiz, the rest is history. More importantly for me though is that when something is God-ordained for you, not even your own plans can stop it from happening.”
On her first arrival at the rehearsals ahead of the recording of Joyous Celebration 15, she could not believe the musical greats she was in the same room with. She would then go on to spend seven years with the award-winning ensemble.
“I had to pull myself towards myself,” she laughs.
“I was trying to not act silly because I was star struck. I remember at some point being in the same rehearsal with Bab Mthunzi Namba and being in awe of him and over the years I had such opportunities to meet people I would never have otherwise met in my life.
“I got to meet some people backstage and others you would see in the audience. On a lighter note, Bishop TD Jakes is taller than he looks on TV and I knew Kirk Franklin was short, but I did not think he was my height short,” she says with a laugh, adding that she is only 154cm tall.
The dynamite of a musician says not many people know her chilled side because she is a worshipper so they think she is always spitting Bible verses.
“People often think how this lady that is so spirit filled be so silly. And the truth is that at church we are not there to play. Not that we are being fake or not being ourselves, but there is a time and place for everything. Otherwise, I’m here for a good time man.”
Her crazy personality is one of the reasons she did not think she and her husband of seven years, Musa Msomi, were a good match.
“Yho bruh, he was always Mr Serious and I was always up and down, never doing just one thing. I thought he would be embarrassed by me. But believe me when I tell that that man is from God. All he is after, is for God’s will and purpose to be made perfect in my life.
“He may not be able to hold a note, but we minister together, he encourages me spiritually, academically and otherwise. I look at our life together and I am amazed at how we just fit and I think ungu cupid wena Bawo (you are cupid oh Lord),” she laughs.
She says even in the recording of her debut album, The 34th Psalm, he has been her number one cheerleader.
“This project has really shown me how God just shows up for us. We sing at shows and attendees go there to have a good time but God often has an appointment with someone there and he uses that opportunity for his kingdom, regardless of anyone’s agenda. We are in a society where people are living their lives going through heavy things and fighting spiritual battles. It is a privilege that I do not take lightly that God uses me, through my music ministry, to touch lives.
“Being part of Joyous Celebration was a true blessing for me because not only do you sing, but you learn so much about performing. You learn that yes, you are singing to God, but you must make a connection with your audience.”
One of the things she learned at Joyous Celebration is songwriting.
“The first song I ever wrote that made it to other people’s ears was Work of The Blood and I begrudgingly took it to Bhut’ Nqubeko (Mbatha) and it was used. From there I was continuously encouraged.
“I then gained confidence because sometimes we hinder ourselves from greatness because of fear. I joined JC without having studied music and only knowing how to sing at church but there are people there who studied music and know what they are talking about. Instead of being intimidated, I learnt a lot from them.”
Even as a professional in the banking sector, Ncebakazi puts God first.
“I pray about everything, even my productivity at work. Lihlazo (it is a disgrace) to be a Christian and the least productive person in your organization because we are constantly ambassadors of the kingdom and through us, people must see and experience Christ.
“Even in my role as a wife or a mother, I pray. He is the God of everything. Yes, I am human and I stress about things from time to time, but I take it to the Lord in prayer and he gives me the solutions. God has been incredibly gracious to me.”