The story of a backing vocalist

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ALTHOUGH Nomagugu Ncube may not be well-known to a lot of music fans, she has done a lot of work behind the scenes, lending her voice to a number of top musicians. She speaks to NewsDay Life & Style about her life in the fast lane of music…

The early years

I started singing in church at the age of five. My mother would make me sing in church. In primary school, I would sing during our assembly times as the lead singer for my class although I never joined the school choir. I started singing proffessionally at 18 with a group called Ancient Tribes in Hwange. That was when my (professional) music journey began. I worked with a group called Extreme Afrique gospel choir that was led by Lyton Ngolomi and his wife, Bethen Pasinawako.

Backing vocals

I have done studio backing vocals for quite a number of artistes and I have lost count. I participated in the Zimtalent Hunt in 2014 and was among the six finalists. I did a whole album and later joined Direct Worship in 2016. I was the overall winner for Starbrite 2017-18 season.


One of my greatest achievements really was winning Starbrite. The competition was tough. I really worked hard to win. After I won, I was sponsored on a trip to Jazzworx Studio in Johannesburg (South Africa), which was Lira’s Studio. Lira is one of my idols musically. For me, that was the best moment of my life. I also got to visit the Downtown Studios which is one of the most famous studios in South Africa where I recorded my single, Hangover.

Current projects

Although I am still in the process of discovering myself musically, I am currently working on an album to be released early next year.

Sex pests

It (music) is a men’s world. Making it in the entertainment industry as a woman is really hard. Most potential sponsors are male and they always want something in return for helping you succeed in your career. You have to be willing to give a part of you for them to help you.Its unfortunate that we do not have successful female producers or promoters, really. It’s tough to be a young female musician. The struggle is real. I am sure this has also been a major setback for most young women in the entertainment industry.

Other pursuits

I have been a presenter at Christ TV for quite some time now. I also love acting. I recently featured on Enzo Ishall’s latest video Vakamhanya Pakarimwa as the lead actress.I love being in front of the camera. It’s the best place to be.

Experience with Mahendere

I started working with Minister (Michael) Mahendere in 2016 and trust me, the journey has been amazing. He has given me an opportunity to feature on some of his songs, which I am grateful for. I have grown as an artiste through working with Minister and I will forever be grateful to him for giving me the opportunity and believing in my talent. He is a dedicated minister who knows his craft so well. He puts in the work and he lives what he preaches. You cannot work with him and not be inspired.


COVID-19 really changed a lot of things. I was meant to have been done with my album by now but because of the lockdown measures, I could not move about. Safety comes first. At the same time, great opportunities have come my way during the lockdown, and I am grateful for that.

Financial rewards

Honestly, music has not yet rewarded me, but I believe it will at some point.