Songstress, Lulu Dikana is one of the most recognizable names in the music industry today–and her talent runs in the family. Her late father, Vuyisile Dikana, was a jazz musician who performed with the jazz band Double Vision and her sister is none other than Zonke Dikana of “feelings” fame. Lulu released her 2008 debut solo album ‘My Diary, My Thoughts’ which received national radio airplay on stations like MetroFM and her latest album is called “This is Life”. For this album Lulu was nominated three times for the 12th Metro FM Music Awards. In this heart to heart interview Lulu talks to us about her music, and what Jesus means to her.
Inside Woman: Your faith is unmistakable in both your writing and in your life; can you tell us about the journey that led to your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour?
Lulu Dikana: When I was about 15 years old my older sister Mvula and I together with a friend of ours formed an acapella group that became quite popular in High School, the long and the short of it – the trio got invited to come sing at an SCM (Student Christian Movement) opening, I was too shy and too nervous so only my sis and our friend went up to render an item, much to the disappointment of all the students who knew us to be a trio. After the meeting so many people came up to me to find out why I had decided not to join the group on stage, so did two girls who looked like they were on a mission as I recall. These girls came up to me under the pretense of also wanting to know why I did not sing, only to find out later that they saw an opportunity to come talk about their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They started off by sharing their own testimonies of how they became born again and soon testified of the goodness of God and the miracles that abounded in their lives since they met Jesus. I was amazed! I felt something moving inside me, and soon that thing turned into this joy I had never experienced in my life and I felt like I was enveloped in liberty, freshness and love, so much love. I knew right there that God’s manifested presence was right there where we were, when they asked if I wanted to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour – I could not say YES soon enough and boy am glad I did.
Inside Woman: There are so many religions in the world, why did you decide to make Jesus Christ your personal Lord and Saviour?
Lulu Dikana: First of all Christianity is not a religion; it’s having the pulsating life of Jesus Christ in a human being. It’s everything that makes God who He is, deposited in a human spirit, and thereby making that human more than just a mere human being but a ‘god’ (Not a GOD). Secondly, I was not looking for no religion, as far as I was concerned I was a Christian by virtue of my parents believing in God (another misconception). Christ found me, asked to come into my heart and I accepted and right away I started experiencing the miraculous for I started putting the Word to work and testing if it indeed produces what it talked about – It has not failed me yet.
Inside Woman: How would you describe your relationship with Jesus Christ?
Lulu Dikana: My relationship with Jesus is real. He’s my friend, lover of my soul and at times my mom & dad, but most of all He’s my Lord. He is boss and what He says goes.
Inside Woman: How has your faith shaped you as a person?
Lulu Dikana: My faith is ME, it has not shaped me. There is no Lulu Dikana and then my faith. I live by the Word every day of my life but this should not fool anyone into thinking I am perfect, I’m a work in progress. I see myself as an extension of God, I am his outstretched arm and He is my life. All Christians are called to take up from where Jesus left off.
Inside Woman: Have you experienced any backlash in the industry because you boldly share your faith?
Lulu Dikana: I’m experiencing it right now! It is partly because I am a Christian that so many have taken long to warm up to me and my music. I have been marvelously graced though in that I have achieved so much more that most Christians have achieved in their entire music career.
Inside Woman: Can a person have a relationship with God apart from Jesus Christ?
Lulu Dikana: : Emphatically NO! Jesus is the only way.
Inside Woman: How important is prayer and reading the Bible in your walk with God?
Lulu Dikana: Prayer is a conversation with God, you have to pray and absolutely have to hear back from God or what you have with Him is not a relationship. Reading the bible is all about getting to know God and His ways or you will not be able to effectively fellowship with Him and neither will He with you. All that God is, is in His Word, you cannot know Him, and neither can you know who you have become except through His Word.
Inside Woman: What place do you see Christians having in such a religiously diverse culture?
Lulu Dikana: The Bible says in Romans 5:17…”those who have RECEIVED abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall REIGN in life by one Jesus Christ” I see only what God says, I pay no attention to what is. God says that because we have received (notice that it does not say those who were given, but those who have actively received, meaning that those who are conscious of who they are and what they have) we shall reign in life…there’s your answer *chuckles*
Inside Woman: Why is it important for you to be connected to your home Church?
Lulu Dikana: Firstly – because God says so (Hebrews 10:22-25) and secondly because Church is a pillar of strength, you need it. Lastly for your service to God; all Christians are called to serve – Church presents you with many opportunities to fulfill this call.
Inside Woman: What where your struggles as a young woman growing up and how did you overcome those issues?
Lulu Dikana: Growing up I was faced with the normal challenges most girls face; low self-esteem etc. and of course it did not help that I was extremely shy. I was very different; I lived in my own world and was constantly misunderstood. You know the Word of God has all we need wrapped up in it. As I studied the Word I started getting more and more confident. The Word of God emboldens me and gives me a mind-set, so now I celebrate my uniqueness and find comfort in the fact that the GREATER one lives in me.
Inside Woman: You are very close to your sisters. Why do you think you managed to keep your bond strong?
Lulu Dikana: I’m not sure but, I think that our parents forbidding us to go play outside our yard when were young forced us to bond and be best friends. If you saw me with my sisters you’d think I’m hanging out with my friends! We’re always laughing and we always have interesting things to share when we get together. One thing God blessed us with is the ability to find humour in everything.
Inside Woman: Let’s talk about woman to woman relationships. It seems that women (more so than men) tend to struggle with issues like gossip and backbiting, and are often too quick to take offense. How can we help women to curb those so called natural female tendencies to really have healthy relationships that last?
Lulu Dikana: Hey, I have never experienced any of that, thanks to the many sisters I have, I never felt the need to make friends until much later in my life. The friends I keep now are all born again Christians and though my relationship with my Christian friends is not always perfect, the fact that our lives are all regulated by the Word help us to quickly resolve issues – I will say this though …girls will be girls lol!
Inside Woman: Do you struggle with being single and raising a child alone?
Lulu Dikana: Well, I’ve had help – I cannot say I have raised him all by myself really. I do wish I had had more time with my son when he was younger though – I just blinked and he was all grown up it seems.
Inside Woman: What is the most valuable lesson are you learning about the process of dating and waiting on God to help you choose the right spouse?
Lulu Dikana: I have actually come to know that you can choose to like or love someone, this whole liking and loving someone business is not as much of a mystery as we’d like to make it all out to be. The problem starts when we start to make it all about feelings which can be here today and gone tomorrow. So, there is a lot more to love than butterflies in the tummy, what happens when they’re gone?
Inside Woman: Why do you think that many Christian ladies who are single are struggling with their singleness?
Lulu Dikana: I think we all struggle because we’re looking for a fairy tale romance – It does not exist! It’s easy for us to allow God to lead us in all other areas of our lives, in the area of finding a partner we always seem to think God just does not get us.
Inside Woman: Nowadays many women are very aggressive and desperate when it comes to securing a husband. What can they do to trust God to orchestrate their love story?
Lulu Dikana: Relax! Serve God. The righteous shall live by faith the Bible says. The area of marriage is no exception.
Inside Woman: What is your view on how women of God should dress? And is this still an issue that needs to be addressed?
Lulu Dikana: Women should dress to be comfortable with themselves period! Though we all should be careful not to offend others while exercising our right to freely express ourselves, the bible does not give anyone the right to tell women how to or not to dress. God looks at the intention, He wants us to be free and to be accountable to one another without being judgmental.
Inside Woman: How did you discover that you can sing?
Lulu Dikana: I saw and heard my older sister Mvula do it, after years of growing up in a musical family of course – my dad always singing this or that while playing with us…one day I decided to try, and – just like that I discovered I could also sing!
Inside Woman: Why do you think God is raising you up at this time?
Lulu Dikana: Only He knows hey – my guess is because he knows He’s deposited in me some of what the world will need in these last days and has positioned me rightly too.
Inside Woman: Who did you admire and look up to musically in your earlier years? Lulu: Whitney Houston! I thought I sounded just like her too. Boy! was I wrong lol!
Inside Woman: You have such a unique sound, like that of Bebe and Cece Winans. You share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ without sounding preachy nor do you have the typical Gospel sound. Is that intentional?
Lulu Dikana: Yes! I think God made it to be so too. I’m sharing the Gospel the way I received it. God know His own children – though so many people give their lives to Christ after a hot sermon, others are just like me – all it will take is them to listen to you tell your own personal story of your love affair with the Master, I do it through music.
Inside Woman: What has been the lowest point in your career and how did the Lord help you get out of it?
Lulu Dikana: There was a time I was ready give up, I was tired of the struggles; struggling to get the right manager, the right band, the right backing singers and getting absolutely no work mostly because people struggled to get hold of me. It got so bad that I literally felt like there is absolutely no way I was going to continue to live my life feeling sad and unfulfilled. I soon remembered that I actually did go to school and was more than able to get a job elsewhere. While all this was going on, I did have the support of my sisters and my friends, but I really wanted to stand up on my own with no aid or support. It was not long before God intervened and reminded me that what I was doing was bigger than me, that I did not call myself. Through prayer and faith in the Word of God I got through all that and although I am still not where I want to be, I’m well on my way there and in my mind I live there already.
Inside Woman: You were nominated for the 12th METRO FM Music Awards and you did not win. When you don’t win, are you still being blessed by God?
Lulu Dikana: Oh Yes!!! I am blessed to have been nominated in the first place. I do not know why I did not win; I did all I believed I needed to do to win and I know that faith works every time! I always remind myself though that I am a work in progress and sometimes we ask God for things and sure enough He gives them to us but the receiving becomes the problem.
Inside Woman: How do you juggle all the demands of performing, and meeting the needs of your family?
Lulu Dikana: It’s not always easy, especially because I am so committed to ministry work at my Church. More often than not I get so tired I have to force myself to take some time to rest. I am learning to depend more on the strength of the Holy Ghost in me and I constantly remind myself that I am not God, and that though my input is valuable, things will move with or without me.
Inside Woman: It’s just natural that when you are in the spotlight people are drawn to you. How do you deal with that attention?
Lulu Dikana: The attention on me is still manageable and I really thank God that I’m comfortable with being me and I never feel the need to try and be someone else.
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 to them?
Lulu Dikana: I’d preach Christ to them *giggle* that’s my mission in life – to ensure that everyone in my world is born again, everything else comes second to that.
Inside Woman: What are your words of encouragement for people who may have gifts, talents, desires and dreams but they feel ‘stuck’?
Lulu Dikana: Again, I am where I am through the Word. The Word told me that nothing is impossible and I held on to that. One thing that affects your world any day though, whether you’re born again or not is your mind! You will become the picture you see in your mind and that picture is put there by your beliefs and your values – those values and beliefs are instilled by what you hear, what you read, what you watch on TV and the company you keep. Start from where you are now to feed your mind with things that will positively affect your outcome, soon you will talk in that direction and soon even your environment will work for you, and before long everything will begin to work together for your good.
Inside Woman: If there are any people far from God or struggling with their faith, what would you say to them?
Lulu Dikana: Well, there are no short cuts, the solution is Jesus. The message on my lips is that Jesus Christ saves and gives life, without Him there is no life.
Inside Woman: What are your God given plans that you are working on in 2013?
Lulu Dikana: God wants me to have so much progress this year; he wants me to be diligent in all that I do so that I can bear much fruit. He has also assured me that He has favoured me, that His hand is upon me so I expect to accomplish a lot this year!
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