Maskandi gem from Nkayi unmasked

24 Mar, 2023 - 00:03 0 Views
Maskandi gem from Nkayi unmasked Intombi Yabelungu


Langalakhe Mabena

While many are still serenading tunes by the goofy Tshibilika muso Sikhosana Buhlungu, another gem from the thickest of Nkayi has been uprooted and she calls herself Intombi Yabelungu, a self-proclaimed Maskandi Queen.

The South Africa-based songstress has been an underground artiste for a while now, starting off her career as an actress for Mthwakazi Kandaba ensemble, and later on venturing into music as a member of Ubuhle BamaNguni as a backing vocalist.

Intombi Yabelungu would then establish a solo musical career, introducing herself through an Extended Play titled Khona Kunzima (It’s Hard), a set piece which won her numerous accolades including the Outstanding Maskandi Artiste at the 2018 edition of the Skyz Metro FM Awards.

“I was born and bred in Maphasaphasa under Chief Madliwa in Nkayi, Matabeleland North. I learnt at Makwateni Primary School under Chief Skhobokhobo. Just like many youths in our village, I relocated to South Africa in search of greener pastures, to improve my life and the situation at home.

“From an early age, I have always been an active person at school and at church when it came to singing and acting, I was born with it. So, in 2014, I decided to join a group called Mthwakazi Kandaba, that specialised in acting.

Intombi Yabelungu.

“We were supposed to shoot a drama series but faced financial challenges for our dream to come to fruition. When the acting dream faded, a number of us decided to join a musical group called Ubuhle BamaNguni.

I was a backing vocalist, but later on, I was given a chance to lead some songs,” said Intombi Yabelungu.
She learnt a lot with Ubuhle BamaNguni in as far as music is concerned.

“I learnt a lot during my stint with Ubuhle BamaNguni, as they helped me to gain strength and confidence by giving me a chance to lead some of the songs. When I decided to go solo, I was a fully groomed product.

“The group (Ubuhle BamaNguni) is still in existence and by going solo, we did not fight, the decision was mutual and they understood my choice.

“I don’t regret my move because it has opened many doors for me as a solo act. I have won numerous awards, including the Best Female Maskandi Artiste at the South African Development Awards (SADMA) and the Best Maskandi/Mbaqanga accolade at the Skyz Metro FM Awards,” said the mother of two girls.

In December last year, Intombi Yabelungu released an Extended Play titled Ngazilaya which has three songs.
She is asking for support from Maskandi music fanatics as she said her music was mature and connects them with their culture and tradition.
Her music is available on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes store and other digital music stores.

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