Unity + trust = success 4 The Nation

Thirteen years ago, eight people of different nationalities and backgrounds came together to form a gospel music group called The Nations. The group has since grown into a big brand comprising the gospel group and a music production company.

Izwi Lesiphelo - one of the group under The Nations.
Izwi Lesiphelo – one of the group under The Nations.

The company does everything in music production – playing instruments, mixing, mastering, sleeve design and duplication of CDs for its clients.

The Nations has moved from an ambitious bunch of people simply trying to praise God in music to one of the most sought-after brands servicing more than 200 musicians of all genres.

“This whole thing has God’s hand in it – from how we met to how we have grown and how we have stayed and continued to work together. It is true that we are now a brand here, but that has been because Jesus Christ has led our way,” said Vusumuzi Dube Sangweni in a recent interview. “To succeed as a group, you need to be united, work towards the same goal and with the same effort and purpose,” said the talented keyboard player.

“There is also need to trust one another. Most disputes come as a result of greed among some members, but to us, that has not been the case and we have kept our unity.”

With a great number of Zimbabwean rhumba musicians now recording in South Africa, The Nations has spread its net to cover various musical tastes.

“We record any genre now, but our flagship is gospel music because we are a religious brand and that is the main reason for which we exist – praising God. Most people choose us over other studios because we offer them very competitive prices and high quality productions,” added Sangweni.

“We also give advice, especially to small groups that we deal with so that their members remain together. Most of the time, once money starts to come in, fights creep in and groups fall apart.”

Their clients include Pure Gold, Christopher Mazibuko, UDokotela and Wilson, Revival Ambassadors of Christ, Chosen Brothers, Sisters of Paradise and new kids on the block – IzwiLesiphelo.

“We also tell artists where they are going wrong music-wise, when we feel that they need to correct somewhere, rather than just let them go with half-baked products,” said Sangweni.

Under the leadership of Pastors Sawasawa and Wilfred Zilawa, the brand has been formed on the back of successful album sales since the group recorded its first album – UmbulaliWenyama (killer of flesh) in 2003.

Following an intensive outreach programme in which the group held street shows and performed alongside renowned musicians like Rebecca Malope, Shiba and The Travellers and the iconic Swazi gospel music king – Shongwe, the album sold more than 5 000 copies.

When the group released its second album – gizozihlalela NgaphansiKwegazi (I will live under Christ’s blood) in 2006/7, it went double platinum (sold more than 20 000 copies), after they had used the same marketing strategy. The group also broke barriers and broke into South African radio, where its tracks are a constant feature, especially on the Zulu station, Ukhozi FM. The studio was upgraded that same year.

“We are now involved in fundraising activities for proper equipment for various churches, so that they can preach both within and outside their premises. We wish to grow this brand throughout the whole of Africa and break international barriers as well,” added Sangweni.

Post published in: Africa News

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