Gospel princess on the rise.


WITH youthful exuberance bursting with natural talent, Lorraine Lindsy Maplanka is a gospel princess on the rise.


Maplanka sings effortlessly and has shared the stage with gospel musicians Dorothy Chipo, Sam Siwela, Anesu Chirongo, Takesure “Zamar” Ncube and Eric Moyo.

She is a backing vocalist for Zamar and Chipo.

On January 1 this year, she was part of artistes that performed at a gospel concert that drew more than 1 000 people at the Word of Life auditorium in Bulawayo.

Maplanka said it all started at a tender age when she first led a singing session at the Kingdom Life International Church in Bulawayo.

“I remember, I was in Grade 7 when I first led a worship session at church,” she said.

“I used to attend choir practice at Kingdom Life International Church with my mother and one day the choir leader called me to sing.

“I sang well and everyone was amazed at my voice at that tender age. I never looked back since then. I take my gift seriously and want God to use me in a way that will touch people’s lives, even those who are not born again.”

She added: “I draw inspiration from my mother as well as United States gospel singers Kim Burrell, Karen Clark and Lisa Brooks for their vocal prowess. I love singing for the Lord.”

Maplanka — a mother of two — is managed by her husband Blessing Stotombe, a member of one of Bulawayo’s fast rising jazz bands, The Outfit.

“My mentor and manager is my husband Blessing,” she said.

“I have grown musically ever since I’ve known him. He gives me genuine musical advice. His expectations for me at times seem high, but I strive to surpass them.

“I strive for excellence. I am a proud wife and mother of Amarissa and Breindel (jr), and there is a third one on the way.”

Commenting on reports that the number of female musicians is fast dwindling in Zimbabwe, Maplanka said talented singers were available, but only lacked resources.

“Talented female musicians are all around, but resources are the major hindrance in the development of female singers,” she said.

“I believe in Bulawayo and in Zimbabwe as a whole there are many brilliant women who have not been recognised. I believe if you are an excellent musician, that opens opportunities for you, but you need assistance from those who have gone before you.”

Maplanka attended Kumalo Primary School in Bulawayo before enrolling at St James High School in Nyamandlovu in 2000.

She later transferred to Bulawayo Adventist High School (BAHS) to complete secondary education.

“When I was at St James, I was called for choir auditions and given a song that was considered difficult, but I executed it well, which gained me admission into the choir,” she said.

“I gained so much confidence and when I transferred to BAHS, I was made the choirmaster in no time. I did collaborations with Bulawayo-based gospel a cappella ensemble Conquerors and grew more and more in love with music.”

She performs at weddings where she mostly does renditions of popular love songs such as Natural Woman by Celine Dionne, Masithokoze by South African group Mafikizolo and Endless Love by Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross.


  1. Amen to this when God uses young people to reach all parts of the world. Everyone has their God given strengths we only need to realise and develop them like what Lolly has done. Go girl !

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