In this heart to heart we speak to the award winning Crown Gospel Award winner, Ntokozo Mbambo. She was discovered by gospel legend Mthunzi Namba, and has been singing with Joyous Celebration group since she was a teenager. Ntoko is also songwriter, wife and mother.
Inside Woman: Please share your testimony of how you came to know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour?
Ntokozo Mbambo: I grew up in a very strong Christian home where everyday we went to Church so I grew up in Church. And my aunt kept on asking me when will I decide to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I did that on the 19 October 1998 during an alter call.
Inside Woman: There are so many religions out there, why have a relationship with Jesus?
Ntokozo Mbambo: From an early age I always knew that Jesus was alive and real because I saw His hand upon my family. We werent the richest family but God saw us through.
Inside Woman: How important is prayer and studying of the Bible in your walk with Jesus!
Ntokozo Mbambo: Its extremely important in my walk with Jesus. I get strength through prayer and studying the Word, God speaks to me, I get direction as well, so its extremely important.
Inside Woman: Who is the one woman you’ve always looked up to and why?
Ntokozo Mbambo: My mother definitely. She was also a worship leader in the Chhurch and she always gave her best for God in church when leading the congregation in worship. She’s a prayer-warrior, a woman of great strength, a woman of endless beauty. She’s amazing.
Inside Woman: How important is for you to have the support of matured Christian women surrounding you?
Ntokozo Mbambo: It very important because these are the women that I call when I need to be lifted in prayer. These are the women that give me sound advice when I need it and these are the women that encourage me when I’m going through challenges.
Inside Woman: Tell us about your family.
Ntokozo Mbambo: I’m married to a wonderful husband, Nqubeko Mbatha, and together we have one daughter, Fanelesibonge Ayanga Mbatha. These two bring me great joy.
Inside Woman: What delights you most about being a wife?
Ntokozo Mbambo: I love the fact that my husband and I are different people but we’re crazy about each other. We are two pieces of a puzzle that came together in order for the puzzle to be complete. He’s a man of great character and I’m truly blessed to have him.
Inside Woman: And what about motherhood, how is that going? Are you still shocked that you gave birth to a real human being and you are responsible for her?
Ntokozo Mbambo:Motherhood is great. My daughter has a lot of energy. She’s constantly picking up things and I’m constantly running after her since she started walking and she’s very affectionate. I find this entire experience quite amazing, in the sense that I carried a human-being in my womb for nine months and this precious being now relies on me to make sure that she fulfils Gods plan and her God given destiny for her life. That’s absolutely amazing!
Inside Woman: Did you struggle as a single woman?
Ntokozo Mbambo: Nope, I was very focused on my journey with God and where he was taking me and my musical career. Besides I married young, so I wasn’t single very long, lol.
Inside Woman: How did you meet your husband and how did you know he was the “one”?
Ntokozo Mbambo: I met my husband when he came to Durban to study at tertiary and I was just a little girl who sang. We met in concerts, Church conferences etc, but nothing was going on there. I saw him from a distance and he saw me from a distance too. Then 2001 we both joined Joyous Celebration. As the years went by we got to know each other and we became friends. He became my producer and we worked even more closely together and that’s how we fell in love. I prayed about it and asked God for a specific sign to show me if he really is the one, and God did exactly that. (sorry guys but Ntokozo said the sign is personal and she can’t tell us what it is.)
Inside Woman: Is marriage everything you thought it would be?
Ntokozo Mbambo: It’s actually so much more than I thought it would be because not only am I learning more about my husband but I’m also discovering things about myself, some of them I don’t like, its almost like looking in the mirror and seeing pimples on your face, lol.
Inside Woman: If you could give one piece of advice to someone who’s about to say, “I do!” what would it be?
Ntokozo Mbambo: Firstly be 100 percent sure that he’s “the one” and secondly a happy marriage is worked on. Marriage is not for lazy people, you keep working on it to keep the fire alive. And lastly don’t ever stop doing the fun things you did together before you got married.
Inside Woman: What would you say to someone who is feeling like they are never going to find that special someone to spend the rest of their life with?
Ntokozo Mbambo: I would honestly tell them to keep their eyes on Jesus because when you’re too desperate, you chase true love away but when you’re eyes are on God you attract love. And you also don’t want to find yourself marrying the wrong person for the wrong reason just because you feel that time is running out. Take your time and keep your eyes fixed on God because He knows what you need, and in due time God will bring the right man in your direction.
Inside Woman: Many Christian women these days are very aggressive and desperate when it comes to securing a husband. What can they do to trust God to orchestrate their love story?
Ntokozo Mbambo: No-one knows us better than God and He knows what we need, so when we trust in Him and say YES to His will, then He moves on our behalf.
Inside Woman: What advice would you give to women who want to successfully remain pure for their future spouse?
Ntokozo Mbambo: Staying pure is the best thing you could ever do for yourself as a woman because it keeps you safe from unnecesary baggage and it also keeps your heart safe from getting hurt/heartache.
Inside Woman: Many Christian women struggle with eating disorders and body image issues. Do you ever feel the pressure and how do you deal with it?
Ntokozo Mbambo: There are moments when I feel the pressure but I realised a long time that I’ve never been a size 32 so why stress about it. I am wonderfully and fearfully made by God but that doesn’t mean I can do as I please. I’ve just started learning to eat healthier so that I can live longer and be healthy. This isnt because of the pressure from people or anything like that, no I’m doing this for myself and I also need to be a good example for my daughter as well.
Inside Woman: What is your view on how women of God should dress? And is this still an issue that needs to be addressed? And how do we go about doing it?
Ntokozo Mbambo: I think we all as Christian women should dress in a way that brings honour to God and also dress in a way that shows the love of God. We are all representatives of Christ so we should do our part.
Inside Woman: What do you want the world to know most about Jesus Christ through your music?
Ntokozo Mbambo: I want the world to know that Jesus saves, He lives, and He loves them.
Inside Woman: There have been a lot of changes in the gospel music industry recently. Are you encouraged or cautious about what’s happening in the industry?
Ntokozo Mbambo:I’ve learnt to stay in my path that God has called me to live in so that I don’t get distracted but rather stick to my call and mandate.
Inside Woman: Let’s talk about your new album, Filled. Briefly tell us about it?
Ntokozo Mbambo: The album is based on the scripture Acts 2 verse 2 which says, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.”, it was recorded live at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City and we truly experienced the presence of God filling us with alll that we needed, and we captured that in a double-cd and a DVD. It’s available in all stores.
Inside Woman: Besides being a singer, you are also a producer, writer, voice coach and you also co-own a recording company. Why do you think it’s important for you to understand the business side of music?
Ntokozo Mbambo: It’s very important to know the business side of music because as a singer you are a business. You render a service that people pay for so that’s running a business.
Inside Woman: What advice do you have for an aspiring artist who may be ministering in the church now, but feel called to be a professional artist?
Ntokozo Mbambo: My husband and I always say that being a minister in the Church is the best way to sharpen your gift and gain experience. So use that God given opportunity. Be effective and productive where you are and God will see your dedication and will reward you. Serve wholeheartedly where you are and God will reward you for that.
Inside Woman: What are your words of encouragement for people who may have gifts, talents, desires and dreams but they feel ‘stuck’?
Ntokozo Mbambo: I was once told that, “You are better ready and have an opportunity than to have an opportunity and not be ready, because opportunity wastes no time for the unprepared”. While you’re waiting for your opportunity to come, prepare yourself for your destiny.
Inside Woman: Being in the spotlight only adds to the role model position that you find yourself in. Obviously, that can come with some pressure. How do you deal with that?
Ntokozo Mbambo: I’m some-one who doesn’t get easily pressured but I just live a life that is pleasing to my God.
Inside Woman: You are handling success well. If you could sit down with some of the young girls and give them advice, what would you say?
Ntokozo Mbambo: I’d tell them to take it easy (no pressure) because we all have our own journeys to travel in life so don’t be intimated by someone else’s journey. Put your faith and trust in God, because He knows whats best for you and your life is safe in His hands. True love is worth waiting for (no rush).
Inside Woman: When you are not working what do you do to relax?
Ntokozo Mbambo: I love spending time with my husband and my daughter. I either go out for dinner and a movie with hubby or we go out and play with Fanele or just go for a full day spa. Relaxation is very important, because everyone needs a break.
You can follow Ntokozo on Twitter via this link @NtokozoMbambo