Doctor of Sacred Music Winnie Mashaba: I have been blessed
Johannesburg - With a singing career that spans close to 22 years, 15 albums and Doctor of Sacred Music (DSM) from Trinity International Bible University under her belt, Dr Winnie Mashaba is working on her latest album, featuring the singles Moporofeta Jeremiah and Ga a fele Maatla, with Musa Mhlawuli and Mapula Monyepao, respectively.
The album, due later this year, follows her 2019 album, The Journey With Winnie Mashaba.
The DSM recognises the extensive community work and positive impact Mashaba has achieved over her years in the industry, using the art of music. “The honour comes as a big achievement; I didn’t expect it. It means a lot as it assures me, and my journey, that all my investments with passion and love for my calling, without explaining myself to anyone, have eventually paid off. And for that, I am humbled,” she said.
Although Mashaba admits her brand has grown over the years, she notes how even through the changes, her voice, advocacy for ubuntu and spirituality have remained constant, and thus those three have been able to open the doors that have advanced her career since embarking on this journey straight after Grade 11.
She didn’t give up school, as she decided to return to complete her matric 12 years after pursuing her passion. “Twenty-three years later in the industry, with a lot of twists and turns, I have evolved, walking a journey that has taught me a lot. I first came here during a time when technology was not as advanced as it is now and have witnessed the growth of this industry and how I have transformed - for instance, from performing using backing tracks to live performance,” she said.
“Till this day, I can’t adequately gauge my success, but when you hear of how your own journey has inspired someone or formed part of another’s journey, you realise how important it’s been to keep walking and thriving against all odds. I have been blessed to be able to do what I love and want others to take my story as an example that anyone can achieve what they desire, regardless of circumstances.”
And although for many years Mashaba has been categorised as a Zion Christian Church gospel singer, she finds it unfair she has been boxed in, when all she really wants is to represent what she loves: music.
“When I entered the industry, I only wanted to showcase my talent as a gospel artist - not a ZCC gospel artist. What is unfair is when an individual wants to categorise me as a ZCC artist because of where I come from or my church background. I don’t remember being given a go-ahead to go to the studio to represent the church.
“Yes, I am a proud ST Engenas ZCC member who is gifted in singing, but I think I should be categorised as a traditional gospel artist who is very versatile. As years go by, even with technology introducing us to more sounds that one can work with, being expected to sound one-dimensional is off. My sound can’t be like it was 20 years ago, because that would mean there hasn’t been any growth musically on my part.”
With the many strides Mashaba is making, she is excited at the business opportunities coming her way. “I hope my story of perseverance will inspire. I hope my story will reawaken in whoever dreams to achieve exactly what it is that we were born for. Just like I did.”