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Dr Tumi going for gold

Tumisang Makwenya, best known as Dr Tumi, took the gospel music industry by storm just over a year ago. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Tumisang Makwenya, best known as Dr Tumi, took the gospel music industry by storm just over a year ago. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Published Nov 9, 2017


Medical doctor turned musician Tumisang Makweya, best known as Dr Tumi, has stamped his name on gospel music in South Africa but now says he is ready to spread the word to the world and beyond.

Just over a year ago, Dr Tumi took the gospel industry by storm with his album titled Love and Grace.

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Now his latest album The Gathering of Worshippers: Speak A Word, has reached gold status in just seven days. The multiple award-winning star took to the streets to honour and celebrate his success with his fans around the country.

“During the shows, there isn’t enough time to interact with the supporters - so we wanted to create the space and opportunity to interact with the people, to take pictures, and sign CDs.”

The Limpopo-born star says his last tour in Polokwane was the most “humbling experience”.

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“Our last stop was in Polokwane which was amazing - we were literally there over four hours because the queues were long. It was such a humbling experience.

“So far we’ve done five provinces, with a huge turnout, so we’re definitely doing the rest of the country by the end of the year.”

Just a few months ago Dr Tumi managed to fill up The Dome, a historic moment, making him the first gospel artist to fill up the 20 000 seater auditorium, single handedly.

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Dr Tumi. Picture: Supplied

“This event was one part of the dream.

“The actual dream is to wake up one morning and find we can fill any venue, any size, anywhere in the world.

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“If you can go to London and sell a 20 000 seater, go to Manchester do the same, go to New York and do the same, go to Sydney, Nigeria and do the same, then perhaps we’re starting to make our mark. It’s just the beginning of the journey.

“The world is on my mind.”

Dr Tumi says he hopes his latest album will be a record-breaking success.

“Right now we’re working on the album, and making sure everybody gets it. It went gold in seven days, which I’m excited about, and I hope it becomes one of the highest selling albums of all time, not just in the gospel industry but in the entire music industry.”


For some time, the singing doctor managed to juggle two demanding careers; healing people physically and spiritually through song - but the demands and his passion for music will see Dr Tumi hang up his stethoscope and put his focus on a microphone permanently.

But for now Doctor Tumi still makes time to see his patients.

“I’ve decided to to see my chronic patients once or twice a month...

but I have to do what I have to do,” he said.

Asked if he will ever go back to practising medicine full-time he said: “I doubt, I absolutely doubt it.”

He explains: “Medicine is part of my journey and I realised that my journey is not one-folded. We are called to do a whole lot of things, and for me I got an amazing opportunity to practise medicine and now it’s time explore my other passion, music.”

And what is the formula for success for this ambitious artist?

“One of the most important things is to be authentic, if you’re going to be authentic, you’re going to be different.

“If you are a replica of somebody else, and you are recycling stuff that people have already done... there’s actually no need for you... who wants a copy if you can have the original?

“Everybody needs to find themselves and never let anyone tell you it can’t be done. I’ve heard that so many times in my life that I hear it now...”

He reiterates: “It’s just a journey of authenticity, and having a longing to succeed.”

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