Joyous Celebration – strength through experience
10 February 2015
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Aphiwe Manono: Welcome back to Old Mutual Live Radio, I am still in conversation with a talented vocalist who is named Nwabisa Meth. Nwabisa has been a backing vocalist, she has a jazz background and she is a member of the gospel group, Joyous Celebration. Nwabisa, what are some of the challenges, because Joyous Celebration, if we are being frank, is a choir; now you have different voices, different personalities, how do you guys make it work, how does Joyous Celebration come together?
How does Joyous Celebration come together?
Nwabisa Meth: The first thing that helps is making Joyous Celebration as a family. In a family there are different people who are different in different ways. There is so much talent there and people, they are so crazy. So it’s not that difficult to be part of that amazing choir.
You just need to understand and get to know people, first to respect them, each individual as a person before anything else, just respect them for who they are. You get to appreciate the different talents and skills that they have. Like any family, we fight, we cry, we laugh, we appreciate each other, we love each other. It’s an amazing family.
AU: Here’s something, maybe you can answer this question for me, is Joyous Celebration sort of like a church? Must you be from a church background, must you be a Christian, must you be, you know, a true believer to be part of the group? Is there some sort of church involvement with Joyous Celebration or are they carefree with who they select, as long as you have the voice for it?
NM: Okay, mainly Joyous Celebration is a music programme; they recognise and look for talent. It’s a cherry on top when you as a person, you are coming from a certain church and you have a Christian background. It is the cherry on top, but they do not merely drive away people who don’t necessarily confess to be Christian.
AU: All right, and working with the likes of your experienced co-members, what has that experience been like for you?
More experienced group members guide us
NM: It’s been amazing! They share with us a lot of things, where they started, how hard they’ve worked to be where they are today. There has been a point, a time when they used to perform for like 10 people and they did not give up just because there were no people to fill up whichever venue they performed at. But they kept doing it and kept doing it.
Now, today, we get shows that are sold out everywhere, they are sold out and we’ve learnt that perseverance is important, hard work is important, those are the things that they share with us. Just focus on the cross, focus on the cross and God will actually take care of it, even if you don’t see it now, just see, some part of you, you have to believe and see it happening.
AU: Do you do other work besides your backing vocalist work Nwabisa and would you say that someone who wants to pursue a career in music and like you have, should they do it?
NM: Definitely I would say they should. Yes, I do other work as well, I do corporate gigs as myself, doing mostly jazz music and also working with other artists as well. So yes, I would say they can go for it.
AU: You would say it’s important to have something else, if you are a vocalist because A, it doesn’t pay much or B, the gigs are too far apart sometimes?
NM: They are, it happens that somehow you make it, it depends on how much of a hard worker you are, if you will look for jobs or jobs will look for you. I don’t think there’s a specific formula, you just need to be there and be a hard worker.