S outh African actor Senzo Ngqobe has broadened his horizon by venturing into music.
After endearing himself with audiences through outstanding performances in movies such as Tsotsi (2005), Blood Diamond (2006), The Forgotten Kingdom (2011), and Mandela – Long walk to Freedom (2013), coupled with small screen performances in television hospital dramas Jozi-H and Hillside as well as etv’s primetime soapie, Rhythm City, Ngqobe has now pushed his artistic talent to a new high by embarking on a music career.
Ngqobe was in Maseru last weekend for the premiere of The Forgotten Kingdom, whose scenes were mostly shot in Lesotho. The Mafikeng-born star plays the lead character, Atang Mokoenya, in The Forgotten Kingdom — a role he says presented him with a completely different challenge.
In an interview with Xpress People last Sunday, Ngqobe said he had decided to disseminate “critical” messages to the youth through rap music under the pseudonym Zee Mali.
“Music is the most effective way of getting the message across and my venture into this art-form was greatly influenced by the desire to make a difference among young people.
“I have realised that the youths understand a message much better if it comes from celebrities. The process becomes even quicker if the message comes in the form of music, which is why I now record concept songs.
“My intention is not to make people dance but make them aware of the current situations and how they affect us, thus, inspiring them to be the change they want to see.
“I have done songs for the Ministry of Health for their TB campaign and National Youth Development Agency for the Limitless Youth of South Africa Forum.
“My passion for music is basically drawn from my hometown, Mafikeng. It is no secret that Mafikeng is an artistic place… It gave birth to stars such as HHP, Khuli Chana and Tuks,” he said.
Ngqobe says he plans to release his first album soon, which explores life’s challenges, who he really is and where he is headed.
“I had planned to release a 10-track album but since I have many songs, the production might contain more.
“Music is more about the fans than the artiste who recorded it, so I will be taking opinions from people on which songs to include in the compilation.”
The album, he added, would comprise songs such as Bokone Bophirima (North West) and Iphupho lami (my dream) –– an inspirational song which talks of Ngqobe’s desire to make music. The South African has already given Basotho a taste of his music following his performances in Qacha’s Nek and Mohale’s Hoek early last year and last month, respectively.
“Music is just my hobby; I will not let it interfere with my acting career. I hope to have more performances in Lesotho, which would be targeted at the youths,” Ngqobe said.
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