After it was suggested that he quit music a few years ago, gospel artist Lwethu Roda, who has been in the industry for 13 years, was recently announced as the best gospel artist at the fifth annual Eastern Cape Music Awards (ECMA) at the Guild Theatre in East London.
The Vaalbank-born singer and songwriter, who now boasts four awards, started singing when he was only 15, when he joined the Mzamomhle gospel group in Mossel Bay. Being a pastor’s son, Roda was active in the church and that is where his talent started to take shape. He decided to go solo and released his first album in 2009, entitled ‘Sikelela Yehova’. He later released four more albums; ‘uThixo ukhona in 2012’, ‘uThixo ukhona’ in 2014, ‘Mangangathi Akekho Ekhona’ in 2016 and ‘Sekwanele’ in 2019. His first award came in 2017 at the Southern Cape Music Awards when he was nominated for best male artist followed by two nominations two years later, when he took home best inspirational performer and best voted nominee at the Gabriel Global Gospel Awards in Gqeberha.
Moved by reports of thousands of women and children who are daily victims of gender-based violence, Lwethu said his song ‘Nkosi Sikelele’ which is featured in his fifth album, was a prayer to ask for God’s intervention. He said the song, for which he was nominated, helped him scoop the award.
He recalled words shared by a woman (whom he did not name) who told him to quit his journey as a musician. “There are people out there who tell you that you will not make it. In 2014 when I had just released my third album, a woman said I should stop making music because there was no point. I recently shared this on social media. She was the first person to call when she learnt I had won an award. She acknowledged my perseverance and how I have pushed to get this far. I am grateful to have been supported by Abongile Mahlanyana, who believed in me.”
Roda said giving up was never an option, “We sometimes forget there is a God. With my songs I try to inspire and motivate people.”
He said he was delighted to have won an award in his province. “People who have been supporting me can now see that I have won. Having been in the industry for years, I know the challenges. There were people who have been by my side, throughout this journey. I would love to establish and assist an artist one day because of the experiences I have come across,” he said.
Roda can be reached on Facebook and on 078-612 0189.