Award-winning gospel star Ntokozo Mbambo just dropped her latest offering Moments In Time this past week, we got to talk to her about music, keeping her marriage strong and what she wants to teach her two daughters.
Your new album a surprise album to your fans. What was the thought process behind it?
What happened is I hosted a show on the 23rd of September called Moments In Time. The reason for that show was just a look back to the songs I have done in the 20 years I have been in the gospel music industry. We didn’t tell anyone, but we were actually recording the show live. And what a better way to release the album as a gift to my fans than on my 33rd birthday.
You have been working with your husband Nqubeko, who is also an award-winning artist for over 10 years now, how do you manage to work together and still main a healthy marriage and business partnership?
Our relationship started off as a strong working relationship before we became great friends and fell in love. We have a great and strong working relationship and over the years, we have grown to a point whereby we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We operate on each other’s strengths. I know where he just flows and I just allow him to flow in that space, and he does the same with me. He knows where I am my strongest and he gives me that space to thrive in that element.
We don’t dwell on each other’s weaknesses, we strive on each other’s strengths and we cover each other’s weaknesses. We bring out the best in each other when we work together. We also know how to separate work and our personal relationship. When we working there are no hard feelings, ‘siyasebenza’.
Both you and Nqubeko are very busy. How do you manage to run successful careers and not neglect your duties as parents and also siblings, friends and all?
We have a strong support system. If we didn’t have as much of a support, we wouldn’t be able to flourish as much as we do. We’ve got family, my parents live around Joburg, which makes life so much easier. I’ve got an aunt, a sister and we have brothers. We have family that’s really close, that makes travelling and being busy easier as my children and life is taken care off while we are hanging the work.
God also blessed us with an awesome nanny who has been with us for almost three years. So it’s been a blessing to have that support system.
My biggest motivation was wanting to live and be healthy. I decided I needed to clean up my act because I want to see my children’s children. I also want to be a great example to my daughters that as much as we are children of God and we prioritize the spirit, the spirit lives in a body that we should also take good care of.
How are you staying in course? We know and am sure you will agree that times it’s supa hard to maintain your fitness goals.
I have had my ups and downs, and like now it’s December so it’s like ‘It’s Party’ so in such seasons I am not too hard on myself. You can’t be thinking carbs in December. However, I make sure that it’s not Christmas Day every day. I watch my carbs, my sugar intake and go to the gym regularly. I also have a personal trainer. The really awesome thing is my husband and I go to the gym together, he’s my gym partner and it makes it fun. We keep each other accountable as well.
You were born in Umlazi, Durban, and even though you have been in Joburg for a while now, you still have that KZN swag. How do you keep it intact?
Most of my time is spent with family and they are very Zulu in nature, that’s how I keep that swag.
You have one of the best voices of our time, and often when we hear and see such talented people, they often have egos and are over the top. How have you kept the ego in check?
It’s the company I keep. I am surrounded by people who celebrate my accomplishments, but also keep me grounded. They remind me of the important stuff. They don’t downplay my success, they celebrate me but also keep me focused on what matters. The Bible does say ‘Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up.’ Such things keep my priorities in check. Also going to church also keeps me centred.
Ever thought of moving abroad and making a greater success of your life?
NM: As much as SA has its own issues, I love this country. I love the fact that once I am tired of speaking English I can always speak Zulu. Moving abroad has so many implications that I am not ready for. It would take God himself to say ‘Ntokozo you need to move’.