Although singing has been a part of Ayanda’s life since he was as young as ten, never did he ever imagine that one day, he’d become one of the most dynamic and most loved singers in South Africa; that music would be his career path. In his mind, as a child, church and music were interwoven, an expectation from any Christian child. Singing with his family; songs by Masibuyele ku Jehova, Amaphoyisa asoLundi, Imvuselelo Yase Natali; this was all the life he knew.
A decade and some years later, he was signed under Koko Records under the leadership of Nqubeko Mbatha, releasing his debut album in 2015, which would go on to be nominated in the Best Newcomer Category at the SABC Crown Gospel Awards. In the same year, he was also nominated for the Best Contemporary Gospel Award at the Metro FM Music Awards. His fanbase was growing, and so was he. Before he knew it, he was invited to perform at some of the biggest local stages and festivals all over the country, even flying across the seas, to places like London. From his instantly recognisable voice and his infectious moves, to his unmistakable youthfulness and unrelenting proclamation of the Gospel, Ayanda was slowly cementing himself as one of music’s royalties, here to make a mark.
In April 2017, Ntanzi recorded his critically acclaimed first live DVD and CD at the Durban Playhouse, titled Priestly Worship, which spawned hits like Ngena, Baba Siyabonga (from his debut album), Uyabathwala, Wembeth’ Amandla (featuring Dumi Mkokstad) and notably, Nasempini, which won the Best Praise Song Award at the 2018 SABC Crown Gospel Awards. Gospel music lovers, peers and many others watched with pride, having seen the young man’s ministry growing in leaps.
2018 also saw him participating in the sold-out multi-award winning Spirit of Praise show, the 7th installation, singing alongside other notable gospel musos like Benjamin Dube and Dumi Mkokstad. To date, Ayanda’s Nasempini performance from the abovementioned show, has over 6.4 million views on YouTube, an achievement that is no small feat. His other songs, collectively, have further garnered more than 6 million more views.
Ayanda recently registered his own company called Royal Priest Productions, whose main aim is to create an empowerment hub for upcoming artists by providing mentorship and professional platform where they can showcase their talents. With the same company, Ayanda successfully hosted an event called PMB Pre-Easter Celebration, which hosted an audience of over 3000 people in April 2019.
While celebrating the success of his single Ng’yaphumelela, the young prince of gospel snuck back to varsity where he successfully completed his LLB Degree, wrapping up a journey that at times seemed like an unreachable star. “I knew where I come from, and I know what it took for me to get as far as I did. So I was determined to get the degree at all costs. Thank God for grace, I was able to get this far”, Ayanda said, reflecting on his educational accomplishment. Ayanda’s goal is to use all that he’s learnt to assist his colleagues in the industry.
Fresh from an emotionally challenging month-long lockdown, gospel lovers will be pleased to learn that Ayanda has just released a brand new single titled Umusa, written by the legendary Cyril Mbongwa, and beautifully reworked into a contemporary jam that will leave everyone with no choice but to jump on their feet and celebrate life. Talking about the song, Ayanda said, “the narrative in most of the songs is grace, the finished work of the cross and the overwhelming love of God. I think you could go as far as calling me a typical minister of grace. This song captures the essence of what I’m about and what I believe in: the grace of God.” Not only did he release a single, but in 2020, he recorded According to Grace the Theatre of Marcellus at Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg. The album gave us hit songs like Basuka (performed on the Idols stage in 2021) and Ngiyathwandwa (over 1mil views on YouTube). In explaining the album title, Ayanda says that our lives are not guaranteed but it’s through the grace of God that we’re still alive and breathing!
Ayanda’s career has taken a sharp rise in the last years, and while it’s grace he attributes for it, we all know he’s just a ball of energy and ignites fires on all the stages he occupies – in South Africa, Swaziland, the UK and beyond!