Nov 29, 2021

Mkhululi Bhebhe: The Saintly Warm-hearted Gospel Crooner

Spread the love

The 37-year-old vocalist says nothing was special about his upbringing.

FILE PHOTO: GOSPEL musician Mkhululi Bhebhe. PICTURE: Supplied

Spread the love

Humility is a rare quality seen in the famous! But not when your name is Mkhululi Bhebhe.

When I call him for the telephonic interview, I’m obviously expecting the worst.

“Hello my sister” is his courteous response as soon as he answers the phone, instantly calming my emotions. The man, who rose to stardom via the multi-award-winning Joyous Celebration, is a breath of fresh air.

It makes all sense when he says his utmost desire is to serve his purpose on planet earth through music. His life, he says, “is about serving the people of God”.

Born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, Bhebhe grew up in his grandmother’s home with his mother, grandmother, aunts, and uncles. A pretty large tight family.

The 37-year-old vocalist says nothing was special about his upbringing. He was just another boy with a dream!

But that dream was not necessarily music – “it included being a doctor or a lawyer at some point”.

He recalls how he fell ill when he was about to start grade one. A leg condition kept him away from school for a whole year.

“Singing was always a passion for him from a young age,” Bhebhe says. Interestingly, he never considered himself a great singer back then. Nonetheless, the people around him saw raw talent.

The church then became a platform where he often sang, praising his God and, in the process, touching people’s lives.

Aged 24 in 2008, he entered Idols Kenya, only managing a sixth-place finish. There was, however, a turn of fortunes the same year when the opportunity came to join Africa’s biggest gospel ensemble, Joyous Celebration.

To sum it up, he says he “happened to be at the right place, at the right time.” Joyous happened to be looking for a sound that is “new, fresh, and dynamic”.

He was recommended and the directors of the group fell in love with his gift. Soon, a group he had always admired via the small screen, became home for him.

“It was purely God’s grace and goodness in my life,” he says.

Many will remember him for his famous songs, Ichokwadi, Wasara Wasara, Tambira Jehovah and Zvamaronga. And who would forget his ‘careful for nothing’ dance moves?

Following his successful stint with Joyous, Bhebhe went on to tour over 25 nations including non-English speaking nations like Suriname and Guyana, both in South America.

His maiden 13-track solo album titled Ichokwadi was released in 2012. The tone changes the moment he starts talking about his late mother.

“I miss her every day. It’s been two years and I still wish she were around,” he says.

Bhebhe, who is married to his long-time sweetheart Ashleigh Nonxoloba, hopes to be a source of hope for those around him!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *