Gearhouse Group has announced the renaming of their Training facility to the Kentse Mpahlwa Gearhouse Training Academy with the aim of furthering the legacy left by late Gearhouse director and colleague, Kentse Mpahlwa.
A RARE musical concept
RARE is a rare concept indeed. Not only does the contemporary South African group feature voices as precious as the rarest of gemstones but the actual concept of this musical ensemble is innovative, too. It was started by Lebo Mohlala, who owns Rare Talent Performance Art, as a way to platform the incredible musical talent from all around the country and provides them with an opportunity to prove their vocal talents, as well as develop them into renowned artists.
“Part of my vision is to make listeners, and industry folk, music execs, realise that this set up can work. But the main vision is to see the members of RARE become that which they had envisioned for themselves and even beyond. It is to make dreams come true for singers who it would normally be difficult to even get a foot in the industry; talent from the rural parts of South Africa, for example. RARE is a way for these musicians to showcase their talent to audiences, nationally and internationally. RAREwill keep doing this for as long as it can so that singers around the country are continuously provided with the opportunity to live their dreams… and, of course, do it through some seriously hard work, too,” remarks Lebo.
After a massive turnout during the audition process, six gifted young musicians were chosen to becomeRARE. Thabani Buthelezi, Lucky Ndaba, Malebenya Lebeko, Hloni Mohlala, Mpumelelo Sejoe, Sinethemba Dlamini and Bonny Zulu bring an eclectic range of talents to the group as they have all been involved in the performing arts to one degree or another.
Now, RARE’s debut album, Project 1, has just been released and is somewhat of a rarity in itself. It’s atmospheric with strong choral strains but with hints of folk song, which will resonate with modern music lovers and old traditionalists, too. In other words, this CD will work in most music lovers’ collections.
Meet the Crew:
Thabani Buthelezi Durban-born, 23-year old Thabani began singing at the age of 10. He fell in love with singing and dancing and so he started to dream of bigger stages and performing at a more professional level. To pursue this dream Thabani left his coastal city to take on the bright lights of Jozi. He hasn’t looked back since and has worked on some big productions the likes of Africa Umoja. RARE is yet another stepping stone to the big time.
Lucky Ndaba Born and bred in Vanderbijlpark, 26-year old Lucky is a singer, actor and presenter. He started singing at his local church at the tender age of six. It was only after studying Computer and Office Practice at Sedibeng College that Lucky discovered that singing in his church was meant to lead to bigger things. In 2005, he joined a choir and started working as a backing vocalist to some of the country’s big name gospel artists – Israel Mosehla and William Sejake, to name some. His love for arts and entertainment earned him work as a news anchor and radio DJ, and it was while working at a local radio station that he was approached to join a gospel group called Khanya. From there on he started working on the big stage and the small screen, which finally landed him in RARE.
Malebenya Lebeko Malebenya was born and raised in Daveyton, Benoni, in a large family. As a single mom of a precious baby girl this 24-year old has worked hard to become an educated individual who can stand on her own two feet and raise her child with dignity. She discovered her passion for singing just a few years ago, relatively late in life but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream. She joined a gospel choir and became a Reborn Christian, which she believes is what lead her into the arms of RARE. Since being with the group she has grown considerably and has had the opportunity of performing with recording artists the likes of Sechaba Padi, Sandile Cele, Joel Zuma, Mandisa and Basitsana.
Hloni Mohlala Twenty-year old Hloni is a Jozi-born, self-taught professional session recording singer. She started singing at the tender age of six and has made music her life ever since. Since she started performing in her church choir at the age of 12, she has continued to rise through the ranks and has performed with big name artists such as Benjamin Dube and Judith Sephume. Hloni took a year out of her performing schedule to study at Damelin but as soon as she graduated she entered straight back into the industry so close to her heart. She is very comfortable performing in front of large audiences as has garnered experience doing countless live shows and touring Africa. Now, Hloni can add RARE to her list of musical achievements.
Mpumelelo Sejoe Gauteng-born, 25-year old Mpumelelo is an outgoing and talented performer who lets her vivacious energy shine through when she is singing. She has worked with the likes of Kgotso Makgalema and sung in numerous choirs. As a member of RARE she plans to become more renowned and learn the ropes of the music and entertainment industry.
Bonny Zulu Bonny is more than a singer, she is a storyteller, too. After singing as a backup vocalist, which included a stint with Aura Msimango, she decided to launch her own music career and has since had the privilege of performing live in the world-famous Kippies Jazz Bar – home to many a famous South African muso. Then, in 2001, she ventured into theatre and has acted in a number of productions including Zakata and Thokoza Isicathamiya. Career highlights for Bonny was when she became a member of the Zanendaba story tellers, directed by the famous Gcina Hlophe, as well as a lead singer in the well-known Universal Gospel Choir. She has since put out a solo gospel album titled Sisebusweni bakho, after which she auditioned for RARE and the rest is music history. Issued by Christabel Zulu