“Dare to dream, and be brave enough to take opportunities when they come your way.”
This is the advice of gospel singing sensation, Mkhululi Bhebhe, who is fast making a name for himself abroad and proving that despite obstacles, Zimbabweans are successfully pursuing their dreams.
The 34-year-old’s breakthrough opportunity came on DStv’s Idols Africa show in 2008, when Mkhululi claimed a coveted position in the show’s Top six group. This set his fledgling career in motion, paving the way for him to join the South African gospel ensemble, Joyous Celebration Choir.
During this time, he rose to fame within the group with Zimbabwean hit songs such as Tambira Jehovah, Ichokwadi, Namata, Hakuna Zvinorema and Zvamaronga. Bhebhe has since left the choir and is currently pursuing a highly successful solo career.
“My Idols Africa experience made me realise I could actually make something out of myself in the music industry. At that time I had no idea that the call for music would lead me to South Africa, but it did, and it has been an amazing journey. It all started with a single opportunity provided by MultiChoice Zimbabwe on Idols. I would encourage
Zimbabweans to grab all these opportunities and run with them, because you never know when the tipping point will be. I am living testimony of how such an opportunity can change your life. To date I have travelled all over the world because I dared to take a chance on an opportunity,” he says.
In December 2017, Bhebhe recorded his first self-funded live solo CD and DVD in South Africa. He released the album last year in Bulawayo at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), to great acclaim. Some of the much-loved songs on the CD and DVD include Kuyangimangaza, Zvamaronga, A bung Neng (The Good Name) and Ndiyeyu Jesu Medley.
The album marks the culmination of Bhebhe’s experience over the past decade, which has included touring 23 countries as a solo artiste, from Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, to China, United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and French Guyane. On the continent, his career has taken him to Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.
Bhebhe believes Zimbabweans have the talent, the ambition and the determination to shine on local and global stages.
“Zimbabweans are claiming their rightful spot on modern reality television, and I’m proud to name myself among these reality stars,” he says.
“I remember in the 2008 season of Idols Africa in which I participated, 50% of the Top 10 participants were Zimbabweans. This goes to show that Zimbabweans thrive when it comes to such things and all we need is an opportunity. Even on DStv’s Big Brother Africa, Zimbabweans have consistently been among the cream of the crop. I would love to see more reality series coming from Zimbabwe, because I believe our people have a very rich story to tell.”
This idea is directly aligned with MultiChoice Zimbabwe’s aspiration to tell Zimbabwe’s stories — a critical component of the company’s skills development incubator, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF).
Launched last year, MTF aims to ignite Africa’s creative industries’ to boost the quality of local film and television programming, and create a pipeline of great stories across the continent, including in Zimbabwe.
Further to this, MultiChoice Zimbabwe continues to support the local arts, entertainment and creative industry through its sponsorship of the Zimbabwe International Film
Festival Trust (ZIFFT), International Images Film Festival For Women (IIFF), Shoko Festival and Ngoma Awards, all of which encourage Zimbabweans to tell their stories.