He went from being one of the most celebrated gospel artists to fighting addictions and being down and out, but Durban artist Simphiwe Khumalo decided to turn his life around and is now ready to release a debut album as a solo artist.
Many people would remember him for working with artists Ntokozo Mbambo and her husband, Nqubeko Mbatha, the Bala family, as well as Joyous Celebration. He then took an involuntary hiatus that hindered him from releasing his own music.
When asked what took him so long to release his solo debut album, the contemporary gospel singer said: “It was just preparation. I cannot say that I planned to take this long, I was actually frustrated that it took this long. But I believe that God was dealing with me because I am a better person now as a musician and a communicator. I understand things better now in terms of handling favour, breakthrough and money. I understand why God took so long to actually give me this breakthrough.”
Khumalo revealed that his journey as a Christian and singer took many turns.
I have been through a serious journey. I have been a tlof tlof addict, a p0rn addict, an alcoholic, and all these things happened while I was a Christian because I got born again at a young age.
The addictions caught him when he was still part of Joyous Celebration, and he was open about his weaknesses.
When asked how fellow Christians treated him, he chuckled and said: “I am realistic. If I am struggling with something, I do not hide it because God already knows about it. All of my friends are Christians, and we did things together, but I was the worst one. Alcohol destroyed relationships for me because I became unreliable. I would get drunk to a point that no one would get hold of me for important church services and industry events.”
Coach Simphiwe, as he is known to those he trains daily, added that he lost friends.
“When I went back to Durban, my car had been repossessed, I had no house and my furniture was taken. I was very successful in Joburg as a musician, but I went back to Durban with a bag, flip-flops, a long sleeve T-shirt, as well as short and long trousers. I had no one to rely on. My friends had turned their backs on me, rightfully so, and I do not blame anyone. I take full accountability.”