Nandipha Pantsi
2 minute read
25 Jul 2014
6:00 pm

Rebecca Malope invites fans behind the scenes

Nandipha Pantsi

Meeting Rebecca Malope or "Sis' Ribs" as she is affectionately known, is like spending time with your favorite aunt.

Rebecca Malope feels most comfortable on stage. Pictures: Gallo Images

At the beginning of the interview she might give you a handshake, but by the end of it she will almost always give you a hug. Long hours in the recording studio have made her voice hoarse, but she says that’s nothing to worry about.

“In a few hours it will be fine and I will be back in studio,” she says with a smile.

Despite being dubbed “the Queen of Gospel” Malope is humble about her success in the music industry, something her fans will observe on e.tv’s Rolling With: Celeb Edition. The reality show, which has featured celebrities such as socialite Bujy Bikwa and rapper Sizwe “Reason” Moeketsi will attempt to show what an ordinary day in the life of a gospel star is like.

“I was very nervous to join the show at first. I thought they would film every little detail of my life – even the unflattering parts,” Malope says.

“But the cameras weren’t too intrusive.”

As an entertainer who also aims to inspire hope through her music, it is no surprise Malope spends a lot of her time giving back to communities who have always supported her. The episode featuring Malope will see the singer spending her 46th birthday donating blankets and food parcels to various people before going home to her fiancé Themba Tshabalala and her three adopted children.

Malope’s journey into the hearts of gospel lovers is an inspiring story. She spent most of her childhood in a wheelchair because of an illness. With very little formal education, Malope left her home in Nelspruit with her sister, armed with a passion for music and the determination to become one of the country’s biggest musicians.

Hoping to find a way into the entertainment industry, Malope entered many talent shows until one launched her career. Now, more than two decades later, Malope has released 34 gospel albums and is currently recording her 35th.

“God’s glory excites me – that is what has always inspired my music,” she says.

Malope won Best Gospel Album at this year’s SA Music Awards (Sama) – her 15th Sama so far. Deciding to focus on gospel music early on in her career was perhaps the best decision Malope could have made.

Her energy, charisma and sincerity on stage is what has made her stand out in a crowded market.

Speaking on what her secret to success is, Malope says it’s no secret: “I love, respect and praise God. I enjoy my work and I have been blessed with fans who love and support me all the time.”


> Rebecca Malope is a judge on Clash of the Choirs South Africa

> She is currently working on her own talk show

>  She adopted her sister’s children when the la er passed away

> Rolling With: Celeb Edition will air on Sundays at 6:05 pm on e.tv.

> You can visit rebeccamalope.co.za for more