Winnie Mashaba

Winnie Mashaba

Over the past five years, Winnie Mashaba has quietly earned the adoration of thousands of Gospel music fans in her home country of South Africa and neighboring countries, and her nomination for a 2005 Kora Music Award and the 13th SAMA Awards is recognition of her enormous singing and songwriting gifts.

Winnie grew up in the Limpopo Province at Steelpoort (Kgosi Phasha) and began singing when she was still in primary school. Her passion for singing and belief in her ability to impact South Africa’s always vibrant Gospel music scene led to Winnie leaving school in 1998, determined to follow her heart.

“My mother was supportive of me because she had heard me sing over the years at school and in choirs and knew that my voice was a gift from God that I really needed to use. It was she who introduced me to Solly Moholo, who I must thank for giving me a start in the music business.”

Moholo is a legendary South African Gospel producer, songwriter and artist in his own right, and when Winnie traveled to the South African capital city of Pretoria to sing for him, it did not take him long to get Winnie into a recording studio.

The result was Exoda 20, released in 2000, and an album that ignited the Gospel music scene, showcasing Winnie’s extraordinary mature voice, one that is capable of carrying a myriad of emotions and uplifts those who come into contact with it.

Exoda 20 sold gold (25 000 units) and marked the start of Winnie’s recording career, one that has flourished ever since and seen the release of an album a year over the past five years. The 2005 album is O Tla Ya Kae? Which again provides a platform for Winnie’s striking voice and messages of inspiration and hope. Winnie herself co-wrote most of the material on the album with Faxa Dube and in the producer’s seat this time around is another South African master of the genre, William Dube.

A committed member of the Zion Christian Church, Winnie’s music is created with a diverse audience in mind. “My music is deeply spiritual and reaches people in the ZCC, Christians of other denominations and music fans who love Gospel music.” She sings in several languages, among them sePedi, isiZulu and Shangaan.

“My music is all about reviving the souls of those who listen to it, those with broken spirits,” Winnie explains. “I also talk about issues facing the country, like crime and HIV/AIDS, and give people advice on how to deal with them so it is also empowering. Of course, many of my songs are simply praise songs to God.”

Asked why her fans (spread from South Africa, Lesotho, Mocambique, Zimbabwe right up to Botswana) love her music so much, Winnie says “it’s because people know that I am a loving person”. “Whether in my professional or personal life, I accommodate everyone and strive to make people happy.”

Currently moving into a hectic period of live work (including a Red Cross fundraising concert in Mafikeng) and on going support/visit to Hospice (home for people living with serious illness and orphans situated at Soshanguve (Pretoria) to give morale support spiritual by singing and issuing food parcels. On the 25 November 2007 she managed to contribute a Wheelchair to Geoffrey Maluleke who was pleading to a Good Samaritan to assist him, she was also part of the entertainer of platinum Stars during the name change including the home games at Royal Bafokeng stadium-SAA Super 8 against Jomo Cosmos and Bloemfontein Celtic PSL game, food parcels donation to 18 school children at Tzaneen and 9 school uniform including a R5000 cheque.

Her second DVD was conducted at her birth place involving the royal house of king Phasha and her former student from the primary and secondary Titled DITEBOGO, where Double platinum award was presented to Masupje secondary school for the contribution they made to pave her way to the music scene and the R5000.00 donation was awarded to the Mante primary school.

Winnie says she loves being on stage. “It’s where my music comes alive and I can see my fans responding to everything that I do. 2006 sees the release of the next offering from Winnie. Titled THOLA NGWANESU it features the hit track “Re tla mo Leboga Kang?” as well as 11 other tracks. Production comes from William Dube and the album features songwriting from Winnie herself. Which sold more than 120000 copies and more than 30000 DVD’s.

Her Album for 2007 is called “kea le tsaba le fase” which also sold more than 75000 copies to date and the release of her latest Album Titled Ke rata Wena which sold Gold within a week.

“Business so worthwhile.” And hoping for a better working relationship in future!!