Wednesday, March 31, 2010


2008 marks 22 years in the music industry for South Africa’s Queen of Gospel, Rebecca Malope. Today she is South Africa’s biggest selling local artist.

Rebecca’s story starts in 1986. Driven by a burning desire to become South Africa’s most celebrated and admired songstress, Rebecca , then 21 years old, and her sister Cynthia, left their home township of Lekazi near Nelspruit and hiked 400 km to Evaton from where they finally reached Johannesburg. This brave step launched a personal journey of achievement that was destined to touch the hearts and minds of millions.

Arriving in Johannesburg , Rebecca immediately set out to realize her dreams and entered the Shell Road to Fame talent search. She was unsuccessful but this did not deter her, and she entered again in 1987 and won the Shell Road to Fame award in the Best Female Vocalist category. Diminutive in stature but big in character. Through determination, hard work, discipline and an iron-will to succeed, she overcame the disadvantage of her semi-rural background. In addition , she has had a talented and supportive team behind her right from the start , in particular Sizwe Zako, producer, mentor and friend.

Despite winning the Shell Road to Fame talent search and realizing part of her dream, Rebecca struggled to find a record company that was willing to help her fulfil that dream. She realized that to fulfil that dream, she had to make it happen herself. She enlisted the help of Sizwe Zako and Peter Tladi, and was able to raise enough money to record Rebecca’s first album.

Their confidence was rewarded when, in a matter of weeks, the album reached gold status. Rebecca has never looked back, she has simply gone from strength to strength. Rebecca won the OKTV awards as best South African female artist for the period 1989/1990; when over 10 million listeners voted for her , the best local established artist in the 1993 Coca Cola Full Blast Music Show. She won it again in 1994. And ever since 1994 she has won 11 SAMA Awards, 2 Kora awards, 3 Metro awards and she has never stopped to be South Africa’s gospel queen.

Rebecca is held in very high esteem by fans in neighbouring countries , she also travels overseas to broaden her exposure and to this end has visited and performed in the United Kingdom , France, Israel to mention a few , she continues to conquer Africa as the Mother Teresa of Africa by being a humanitarian and a philanthropist. She made history travelling to Israel where CCV TV crew shot a 52 minute Easter special for national broadcast on Good Friday, 15 April 1995. She was further given the honour of singing the national anthem which was televised live to 30 countries.

Rebecca Malope has performed for people in all walks of life , young and old, educated and non educated , rich and poor, kings and dignitaries, and all that has not the changed Rebecca , she is still humble as ever and she is still giving her time and money to the needy and the abused. No wonder she is so blessed because she is a giver, she has sold over 3000000 albums throughout her career.

To support her 2008 release “UJehova Ungu’Madida”, Rebecca has embarked on an extensive national and international tour, including Ivory Coast, Zambia and Malawi, featuring her world-famous 10-piece band. The 17 track album was co-produced by Rebecca herself and Percy Ingle. Highlights are the opener “Amazulu”, “Sinje Ngamajuba” as well as a stirring version of the gospel standard “How Great Thou Art” as only the Queen of Gospel can interpret it.

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