This production is composed by Bongani Umculi (BU). The music is Afrikan contemporary with an isiXhosa sound and jazz influences. BU uses music to explore social dynamics and social ills like GBV, relationships, love, and Ubuntu with the aim of promoting pro-social behaviours.
Qaqambile Qingana and Luvuyo Gogela are co-composers and co-writers of the music.
Percussionist: Siphosethu Mtsulwana
Drums: Zwelethu Skosana
Bass guitar: Nsuku “Gold” Mabasa
Main pianist, Musical Director and Co-composer: Qaqambile Qingana
Lead guitarist: Ndira Chaga
Backing vocalists: Zoliswa “Lhinks” Mpehlo, Zethu Fredericks, Lelethu Ndamase & Andile Fredericks
Backing vocalist and Co-composer: Luvuyo “Strike” Gogela
Second keyboards: Sphete the pianist
Lead vocalist: Bongani Malahle AKA Bongani Umculi
Videographer: Siyabonga Nqayana
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Ubuntu Abahlobo Kwingoma is a Gqeberha- (formerly Port Elizabeth)-based vocal musical band established in 2003. The co-founders were Fuzile Gema (late), Luvuyo Gogela, Andile Fredericks, Bongani Malahle and Sivuyile Gogela.
The group later evolved to include 10 members (5 males and 5 females) consisting of 5 vocalists and 5 instrumentalists. All the members come with their own musical experiences, but we dream of representing Gqeberha on the world stages. We have used the years to grow ourselves as a band so when the time came, we could share a matured sound / performance.
The spirit of Ubuntu is within our music, which comprises of African and contemporary sounds. The music aims to tell everyday stories and intervene with positivity and positive messaging. Most songs are written in isiXhosa.
Luvuyo “Strike” Gogela is a composer, vocal arranger and versatile vocalist. He started singing at a young age at church. In 1994, he joined a vocal quartet called The Jubilators. In 1996, he co-founded a group called Ecstasy 9 – a double quartet males only vocal group. Other vocal groups he was part of include Faith F and New Hope mixed group. In 2002, he co-founded Ubuntu Abahlobo Kwingoma which initially started as male only vocal group. In 1997, Ecstacy 9 competed in Shell Road to Fame using a song he arranged and in the same year they recorded a demo at Umhlobo Wenene FM (previously known as Radio Xhosa). A few years ago he founded a group called Basic Few and they have released an album called Kuyaliwa. Some of their performances are available on YouTube:
Bongani Umculi, is a PE-born singer, who sings African and contemporary Xhosa music. He has been influenced by a diverse range of music genres – like African Jazz, Mbaqanga, Maskandi, international Jazz and contemporary Afrikan music. He grew up listening to Stimela, Cheek to Cheek, Chicco, Splash, Patricia Majalisa, Brenda Fassie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka – later to Ringo, Mankunku Ngozi, Andile Yenana, Michael Franks, Grover Washington Jnr. and more.
Zethu Fredericks is a lead and backing vocalist. She started music in 2010 at church as a lead and backing vocalist. In 2013, she joined a group called the PE Choir and in 2017, she joined Ubuntu Abahlobo KwiNgoma.
Andile Anderson Fredericks is a composer, vocalist, and arranger. He started music in 1994, in a group called the Jubilators. In 1996, he co-founded a group called Ecstasy 9. He participated in the show, Shell Road To Fame in 1997, while a member of Ecstasy 9. The same year, he had an opportunity to record a demo at Umhlobo Wenene with this group. In 2002 he co-founded Ubuntu Abahlo KwiNgoma. He joined a group called Adelaide Gospel in 2003 and they participated in different musical competitions that were hosted by Eastern Cape Province body called Ecapoma. In 2004, he joined a Band called ILitha and they used to perform African Cover songs.
Zoliswa Mpehlo is a lead and backing vocalist. Her love for singing started in 1996 when she joined the P. E. Melodious Voices. The group won a competition in 1997 named On the Go Show, where Putuma Tiso sang as a lead vocalist before leaving for Johannesburg in search for greener pastures. Zoliswa sings at church and with Ubuntu Abahlobo KwiNgoma.
Brenda Mali is a lead and backing vocalist. She started singing at a very young age through the influence of her family that has always been involved in choral music. She later joined a band named ILitha where she sang as a lead vocalist. She also worked as a session backing vocalist for a few artists.
Khunjuzwa Jacobs is a backing vocalist. She started singing at church when she was a teenager. She sang for a gospel group called New Image in the 90’s. She is presently a member of Ubuntu Abahlobo KwiNgoma.
Siphosethu Mtsulwana is a drummer and backing vocalist. She is a classically trained drummer and percussionist who has played for the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (ECPO) as well as various other ensembles at Nelson Mandela University, including the Jazz Ensemble. Siphosethu co-produced the installment of Not A Rock and was also the drummer for the production. She is not new to the all-female band setup as she was also part of The Women of Wonder in 2019. One of her greatest experiences was opening the Eastern Cape Jazz Festival with the BCMO (Buffulo City Metropolitan Orchestra). Playing alongside Dizu Plaatjies and playing percussion for Simphiwe Dana and Mccoy Mrubata. Siphosethu presently holds a BMus Music Technology Degree and wishes to inspire other young female instrumentalists one day.
Qaqambile Qingana is a musical director, pianist, and vocalist. “Music is a very beautiful part of life. It eases the soul, communicates with the world and is also a universal language to everyone, no matter which genres one chooses to love for we all have different taste. During my time in the music industry I have learned to understand that not everybody will love what I do and I also will not love what everybody does, but because we have a common objective we learn to work with each other, I am a very strong opinionated person who knows what he wants, and have learned that what I want won’t always work. People’s tastes are different and I have to understand that the music I will be playing or writing is not only for me, but for everybody else who will be listening to it. I have been with various artists and I am a flexible person. I’ve played Jazz, piano, and have worked as a vocalist and a backup singer. I’ve played a solo artist as well as in a band”. Qaqambile has worked with Asanda Mqiki, Dumza Maswana, Ohayv Abhir to mention but a few local artists. He has also worked with a lot of well-known South African artists.
Mandilakhe ”Ndira” Chaga is an aspiring lead guitarist. “I started picking up the guitar in 2015 and fell in love with the instrument after learning its depth through YouTube and the internet. After two years I started to work with other musicians. Since 2018, I have been playing different genres and getting invitations to join other local musicians. I have now started composing my music.” Ndira joined Ubuntu in 2020. He has been instrumental in making the music and influencing our sound.
Bongani Malahle is a lead and backing vocalist, composer, and arranger. He studied for a short while at the then Fuba School of Music. He played for the school’s band as a pianist and went to Mpumalanga Mbombela (then Nelspruit) cultural show, performed around Gauteng (in local festival, clubs, Bassline), and a few other shows the school hosted. He was a pianist for 2 other musical bands – Kwani (later became Kwani Experience) and Khumo Kganyago’s (Zonke Dikana’s guitarist) Quartet. Khumo Kganyago’s Quartet performed in the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz stages for up-and-coming bands (2002). He also plays bass for other artists. He writes / composes, arranges and acts as an assistant Musical Director of Ubuntu. He has also worked as a bassist for Zane Seti:
Nsuku Obedience “GOLD” Mabasa is a bassist and music arranger. “I started learning how to play the bass guitar in 2011, and was full time bassist in 2012. I grew up playing in church, of which Gospel was the music I was exposed to, before I was exposed to other music genres in the years of my playing. As years proceeded, I was exposed to music genres like: Jazz, Afro pop, hip hop, Neo Soul and Reggae etc. I learnt my first instrument in 2006 which was the piano until I began to show interest in learning the bass guitar. Through the 7 years of playing as a bassist, I’ve played with a variety of musicians and recognized artists within these 7 years. I’ve played for Gospel artist like Solly Mahlangu in Johannesburg and Israel Mosehla in New Brighton, Nhose, Andile B, Nobathembu in East london, Tebello and Takesure (Joyous Celebration) in PE. I recently shot a documentary for Valentine’s day in Gospel Time in Johannesburg SABC in 2016 with Nqubeko and Ntokozo (Gospel Artists). I’ve played in the school’s band for jazz ensemble (NMMU) and was also involved in the school’s Music and Arts for charity foundation. I was elected to be part of the house band in Bloemfontein for the Macufe Annual festival in 2015. I’ve sat as a stand in bassist for rehearsals for Brenda Mtambo (Afro pop artist). I’ve also been involved in many groups around PE with the likes of: A band named Ohave Abir, Ire Vibe Arts, Classic Angels, etc. I’ve also played in various churches and various people in events like weddings, parties and clubs.”
Gold joined Ubuntu Abahlobo KwiNgoma in 2018. He has been instrumental in bringing a more diverse sound as he has vast experience in the industry.