Dr. Rebecca Malope – A #DStvMVCA Legend

26 November 2018
The iconic gospel singer was awarded with the DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Legend Award this past weekend – this is why.

Rebecca Malope was born Batsogile Lovederia Malope in Lekazi, Mpumulanga. She’s commonly referred to as the ‘African Queen of Gospel’ and she’s sound-tracked the daily lives of millions in South Africa for over three decades.

She’s released at least 35 albums – most of which reached multi-platinum status – and her estimated sales of 10 million make her one of the biggest-selling gospel artists of all time. She has won multiple South African Music Awards – including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 – Metros, a Kora – and now the #DStvMVCA Legend Award.

In 2004, she kickstarted a TV career, hosting the popular It’s Gospel Time, and she joined Clash of the Choirs as a judge in 2013.

It was in 1984 that her music career started, when her and her sister Cynthia decamped Mpumulanga for Johannesburg. The next year, she entered the Shell Road to Fame with a band but was unsuccessful. When she met Sizwe Zako at Gallo Studios the next year, he suggested she enter as a solo singer. In 1987 she did – and won.

Despite this, she struggled to get signed to a label, and when MFM eventually picked her up, she was told that gospel music didn’t sell well and she was saddled with a bubblegum/disco sound to compete with the likes of Brenda Fassie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Mercy Phakela. The one gospel song on her debut, self-titled album, “Sthembile Kuwe” fared better than the pop tracks.

Further albums hit platinum status, and 1990’s ‘Buyani’ – with a title track dedicated to Madiba – went double-platinum and earned her an OKTV Award (she beat out Brenda Fassie). It was only in 1992 that she released her first gospel album proper, ‘Rebecca Sings Gospel’. It went on to sell a million copies.

1994’s ‘Umoya Wam’ – featuring one of her signature songs – scored her a first SAMA for Best Contemporary Gospel Album. The follow-up, 1995’s ‘Shwele Baba’ became the fastest-selling SA album ever. She’s consistently kept these exceptional standards and sales successes.

Additionally, she’s hosted sixteen seasons of It’s Gospel Time, and was a judge on three seasons of Mzansi Magic’s Clash of the Choirs.

She’s an Mzansi icon, and well deserving of her Legend status.

What else you might like:

Rebecca receives the 1Life Legend Award

Rebecca receives a tribute from Khaya Mthethwa, Ntokozo Mbambo and Dumi Mkokstad