Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
18 Jun 2015
4:03 pm

Jukebox Thursday: Five of SA’s greatest gospel hits

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

My colleague does not like gospel music, when I asked him why, he told me all gospel songs sound pretty much the same to him.

Gospel artist Benjamin Dube and his sons. Picture: Facebook

Since we are in South Africa, I then asked him what he thought about our gospel music, he said: “South African gospel artists do not write new songs, they take from American artists, re-record the songs as they are; lacking creativity”.

He might be right in that South African gospel musicians do take American music and re-record it, but I also think there are artists who put their own South African twist to the songs, making listeners connect and identify with the music more.

Also, the music, like every other genre, caters for different moods; praise – for that I am in cloud nine and want to dance my life away mood and worship – for that I want to relax and just appreciate my creator mood.

We also have artists who do write songs, well-written songs, either in English or other South African languages.

We take a look at five of South Africa’s well written songs

1. Benjamin Dube ft Neyi Zimu (Lamb of God)

What I love about this one is that two great gospel artists came together and produced a song that almost every South African loves, if there is a church that has not mastered this song, well, I don’t know.

2. Ntokozo Mbambo (In the shadow)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcHPPPPMZqU

Mbambo sang this one for Joyous Celebration when she was still part of the group, this time she did it on her live recording, giving it a personal feel. I think it was well-written and excellently executed.

3. We will worship (Malibongwe)

The first time I heard this song was at a church I visited in Mpumalanga, the vocals were amazing and the instruments very well played. I then searched for the song on Youtube, this group came up. I thought they did it well, the lyrics and instruments as well.

4. Joyous Celebration (Work of the blood)

Joyous Celebration is known for their good quality music. This song proves that, it was well-written, the back-up singers were also amazing. The lead singer also did an amazing job.

5. Spirit of Praise 5 ft The Dube Brothers (Thank You)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a8p9i38a1I

What makes this song the best for me is its simplicity. The lyrics aren’t complicated but very meaningful, the arrangement of the song is also amazing.

These are not the only well-written South African gospel hits; these are the ones I chose to convince my colleague that South Africans do write songs.

Share your well-written gospel songs on the comments below.