Nwabisa Meth – loving Joyous Celebration
01 January 1970
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Welcome back to Old Mutual Live Radio. My name is Aphiwe Manono and today we are in conversation with chorister, Nwabisa Meth. Now Nwabisa is a member of the gospel group or choir called Joyous Celebration. Nwabisa, thank you so much for joining us and welcome back to Old Mutual Live Radio.
Nwabisa Meth: Thank you Aphiwe for having me.
AU: I know I just pulled you out of rehearsals right now. What are you guys preparing for?
20 and counting for Joyous Celebration
NM: We are preparing for a Joyous 20.
AU: You’re already on number 20.
NM: Yes, where did you get lost?
NM: Where did you get lost?
AU: I think I got lost at number 10.
NM: Number 10, oh my God, 10 years later.
AU: How long have you been with Joyous Celebration, Nwabisa? What sort of preparation goes into preparing for an album? I mean you’re on your 20th album now. What are you going to do differently from the ones that you have done before?
NM: I’ve been with the Celebration for 3 years now. There’s a lot that goes on in preparation, rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals, prayer, prayer and prayer, ja so we stress a lot in preparation. We have long hour rehearsals. We also set aside time for prayer and ja.
AU: Now, we spoke about this earlier that to me now it’s sounding like Joyous is actually more like a church movement than it is a choir. Would you agree with me?
NM: Well, I don’t agree because I really, I don’t know what you mean by that.
AU: Like the prayers and, or is it just part of, it’s just routine for you guys because you’re singing gospel music, you take it as a serious religious performance or putting together of a project.
NM: We believe that prayer is our lifestyle, part of our lives and we cannot do without prayer because we do gospel and what we sing about is the word of God so we cannot do it without constantly communicating with the Almighty, so it is part of what we do.
AU:I know there’s a lot of people who always wonder, I’m one of them actually. How does one get in, if I’m a vocalist and I’m interested in becoming, joining the Joyous Celebration Choir, how would I go about doing that?
How do you join a choir?
NM: It’s funny that you should ask. This year we actually have been having auditions in every city that we go on tour in, we’ve been holding auditions a day or two before the actual show date so yes, this year we’ve been having auditions, so that’s how you get to be part of Joyous Celebration.
AU: How do people find out about the auditions? Is it word of mouth, is there a specific platform?
AU: Another question on everyone’s mind is definitely whether, do you guys get paid to do this and if so is it enough to make a living out of and sustain yourself out of?
NM: We do get paid because it’s work for us. I personally wouldn’t say it’s enough but it’s what I agreed to. So ja I guess in this industry I have come to learn that you don’t really get what you’re worth but then you sort of come to a certain agreement with the people who give you the job.
AU: We’ve seen a lot of artists come out of Joyous Celebration, Ntokozo Mbambo to mention one, I mean the list is endless really of really, really good vocalists. Do you one day plan to branch out and do your own solo thing and if you do would it still remain gospel?
I hope to end up in Jazz music
NM: Definitely God willing, I do wish to have my solo project and it would be jazz which is close to my heart. Yes, that’s what I wish for at this stage.
AU: Which South African jazz artist do you look up to or would you one day like to work with?
NM: Oh, it is Siphokazi. I’ve worked with her quite a few times. She was a brilliant singer. I look up to that lady. She’s got a wonderful voice and ja, I respect her so much so I would definitely any day, would love to work with her.
AU: Right and just in final and closing, where can people catch the Joyous 20 Celebrations? I know you are in rehearsal right now for the recording of that. Where will you be performing this and are you going to be touring the country and where?
NM: Well, the recording will be in December. At the moment there’s Moses Mabhida which is quite exciting. That’s a very big venue and very historical within it, so excited, we can’t wait and ja, that’s where we’ll be.
AU: If we were interested in purchasing tickets to come see the show at Moses Mabhida, where would we find them?
NM: The tickets will be available at the Computicket soon. In August people should look out, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. They will definitely be out soon, this month actually.
AU: Well you heard it here first folks. Joyous Celebration is coming out with Joyous 20 and we cannot wait. Tickets will be available from Computicket. The recording is taking place in December so around November you should start looking out for them. Ntokozo, listen to me calling you Ntokozo now.
NM: No actually I think in November they will be sold out. People will need to start buying now.
AU: Sold out, so we need to start buying now as in, oh yeah you did say August, so people start looking for your Joyous 20 Celebration tickets. They are out in stores immediately. Nwabisa, thank you so much for your time and thank you for joining us on Old Mutual Live Radio.
NM: Thank you so much Aphiwe. Thank you for having me.