LANGELIHLE Ndlovu is a bright musical prospect who will surely underscore a long standing fact that Bulawayo produces top quality female musicians, who if given the platform and support could go on to conquer the world.
Recently, Langa — as she has introduced herself to the musical world — launched her first single, Impilo Yami, in Bulawayo.
To her, this is just the beginning of a musical journey that will usher her to stardom.
What started of as hobby back at Mafakela Primary School has grown into an art form appreciated by music lovers all over the country.
Yet at her young age, she knew she was meant to be a performer.
“Right from primary school at Mafakela and Mtshingwe I became part of a number of musical projects which I must admit paved a way for most of the activity I am involved in now,” Langa said.
“My first performance at a school choir competition in 2002, gave me such a rush which I quickly got addicted to and from then on I sang for people every time I could, at church, with a cappella groups and the school choir throughout my high school experience at St Columbus High.
“My first solo performance was in 2010 at the Peace of Art concert where at the time I was part of a band, the Acoustic Flare with Djembe Monks drummer Roots Koolosal, Keith Katongo, Charles and Bright.
“From then I worked with a number of artistes such as Taz and Willis Wataffi (former Africa Revenge), Alexio Kawara and GPB, just to mention a few, as well as a cocktail of talented young musicians to whom I owe most of my success so far,” she reminisces.
To her, Langa, a shortened version of her name, is not just a name, but a brand that has evolved over time.
“The brand ‘Langa’ has gone through so many phases of evolution from Langa the visual artiste when I was younger, to ‘Sunshyn’ when I started to do music professionally under the guidance of the first two producers — Calvin Heart and King Krued.
“All identities have been part of what my brand represents, which is the power of humble beginnings,” she said.
“Langa is an ordinary girl from a typical background, just like any ordinary youth working hard to establish herself as an academic, a musician and a model.
“This is a clear indication that anyone is capable of anything as long as you put your mind to it.
“That is a brand that I believe 90% of the youths in Zimbabwe can draw inspiration from because it is a brand they can relate to.
“Therefore, l’m Langa and I’m proud of who I am and where I come from.”
Not only is she a musician, she is also a full-time student at the University of Zimbabwe where she is studying political science.
She has also recently taken up modelling, which she admits was never part of her plans.
“Honestly, modelling was never part of the plan.
“We have a model in the family — my older sister Gugulethu — but I never considered it until I started getting approached by agencies and designers. To be able to explore this new venture extensively I signed up with Model Management International under Judith Williams and I am taking classes with her,” an excited Langa, added.
In her short career she has worked with some of the best musicians in Zimbabwe such as Kawara and Wataffi.
She reckons with such exposure she can be able to learn and apply the knowledge in growing her craft.
“I have been part of a number of projects which include Micablaze where I was a recording artiste with the group NBH. Between 2007-2009, we recorded and packaged a complete album.
“I was also part of a Willis Wataffi project in which he was grooming and working with young artistes in 2010.
“Working with Alexio Kawara, particularly, had a huge impact on how I look at my art and striving to improve on it. I also benefited from working with Acoustic Flare. I believe that was the defining moment for me.
“It was because of the audience’s response when we performed that made me realise that with a bit of a push I could be an artiste to reckon with.
“Working and associating with big artistes has opened up my eyes as to how I should handle myself and my practise as well as the importance of practicing diligence and discipline.
“I still have a lot more to learn and I will keep on doing so,” Langa, says.
She intends to work hard on her brand so that she can inspire other young people and make Bulawayo proud.
On her single which is already getting a lot of airplay, she said: “The song is simply a reflection of how life should be, particularly when one takes time out to enjoy the simple luxuries of life such as dancing and hanging out with friends.
“It’s a party song, so definitely, it is for the young at heart.
“I feel so blessed to have worked with such a hub of talented individuals in their respective fields.”
She is, however, saddened by the state of the local music industry although she is encouraged by the tenacity of her peers who put in so much work to make the industry survive.
Quizzed on where she will be in five years, her response was: “Three years! Three years from now, I promise you fireworks!
“I have a lot of projects lined up this year. I am planning a television show, collaborations with some of the hottest musicians in Zimbabwe and launching an album next year. I am also looking forward to graduating.
“As far as modelling is concerned, I’m taking baby steps and taking my agents’ advice all the way.”
Music lovers in Bulawayo have every reason to smile; a new musical diva has been born.