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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mahali Selepe, explains why He is so "Dignified"

Mahali (pronounced Ma-ha-di) 31, is a UK based Gospel music solo artist, songwriter, session studio backing vocalist, fund raiser, wife and mother. She has been affectionately referred to as a singing evangelist and story teller. “There is a special anointing on her when she sings” has been the words of those who’ve seen her perform.

Singing has always been part of Mahali’s life. Her voice was nurtured very early on. From her early years in Lesotho she remembers her Christian home where she and her two siblings would look forward to family worship every morning and evening when they would sing songs from the hymn book, each person singing in a different part. “I miss those days. We all sounded so good too!” Mahali says with a smile. The second of three siblings in the Masitise family with dad a Pastor, Mahali embraces her roots. ”Lesotho is a country of people who love to sing!” Mahali adds. “Singing is a way of life, within and without the church walls communities are driven by music. This became even more pronounced when I moved to South Africa in my teenage years. South Africans express their nation plight and pride through music. You can feel it in the very air you breath. I’m truly indebted to God for a blessing of being part of such rich musically gifted countries.”

Mahali and her husband moved to the UK in 2002 and this is where God’s Spirit spoke to her about singing. “I really missed singing. But I didn’t have the guts to sing on my own. And somehow in this country life is so busy that forming a singing group is a mission. In 2005 after a friend watched my wedding video where I sang he persuaded me to sing. I was quite hesitant because I had never felt my voice was a soloist voice. From then on I felt God had been speaking through him. I prayed about it and started buying backing tracks. Only in 2007/8 did I feel that God was calling me. People’s testimonies after hearing me sing and my husband’s firm belief in me sealed it for me”.
God opened door after door enabling Mahali to record her début solo album entitled Dignified. The album whose song lyrics were penned by her husband is the family’s moving testimony. Since recording this contemporary Gospel album she has seen God take her from strength to strength both as an artist and as a minister of the Gospel through song.

When recording Dignified, Mahali and her husband Molapo were expecting their third child. Shortly after the album’s release , L’amour Tumelo Tomy Yao was born on September 25th 2008. At 6 weeks he developed Bronchiolitis. He was in ICU for 10 weeks and sadly died on January 9th 2009. “Lamour almost died after 2 weeks in ICU” Mahali says. “The doctors told us they had done everything they could for him and there was nothing else they could do. We were standing around his bed, everyone pretty much in tears. His heart had suddenly stopped beating and he was not responding to resuscitation. I started singing ‘You Are LORD’ to God with tears in my eyes. And his heart actually started beating!!!!. L’amour lived 8 more weeks and I tell you those were the most beautiful 8 weeks of my life (and I hope and trust his too). He was airlifted from Cardiff to Great Ormond Street Children Hospital in London. Whilst in London we really bonded and I am happy that when he rested, he knew without a doubt just how much mommy loved him.”  The death of Mahali’s little one caused her to spend 2009 recuperating.

In December 2008 God of the impossible, a song from the album Dignified was voted number one on the United by One Radio online poll. The album has since gotten airplay on a number of radio stations including Light FM, BBC Three Counties Radio, BBC Radio Leicester, Cross Rhythms Radio, UCB Gospel Radio and overseas on SABC’s Lesedi FM, Ukhozi FM and Radio Pulpit.
“2010 has been such an amazing year with its exciting peaks and tough troughs. Challenges are not nice but that’s when one gets an opportunity to see God at work!” Mahali says.  By the dawn of 2010 Mahali was surprisingly diagnosed with peritoneal TB following a long spell of a medical puzzle to her bulging tummy. “The devil thought he was finishing me off but he is a liar!” Mahali declares. She completed a 6 month course of treatment and was declared TB free!
He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defense; I shall not be moved.” Psalm 62:2
In 2010 Mahali entered the UK Christian Musician talent search Gospel Rock – which was sponsored by Integrity Music - and she became one of the favourites with both the judges and the audiences alike making it to the finals in London. After months of painstakingly difficult process of picking the crème de la crème of UK national Gospel talent out of hundreds of able participants God enabled Mahali to make it into the top 10.
“I love singing; when I sing I feel so blessed. I feel so special! I feel God right th
ere with me. I feel Him sing through me. It is such an amazing feeling. I think that’s what the anointing feels like :)
“God has really taken me a long way and I thank Him. He has improved my singing and presentation. I can only look forward to a brighter future with Him because where I am now had nothing to do with me. It was all Him. As I look forward to where He’s gonna take me next, I celebrate where He has put me.”

Mahali’s involvement with Gospel Rock led to an interview on Premier Gospel Radio, the UK’s number one Christian radio station. Other Radio interviews that Mahali has had include BBC Radio Leicester and BBC Three Counties Radio.
Mahali has also sung in big events in the UK namely the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church South England Conference  Camp Meeting and the North England Conference Camp Meeting.  She’s also sung at the National Welsh Mission (SDA) Day of Fellowship in Llandridod Wells.

The biggest highlight so far has been a live DVD recording of her album Dignifed. The Dignified Live DVD was recorded at the Lighthouse theatre in Kettering on August 1st 2010. “My motivation to have the concert against all odds was to raise funds for Cancele Senior Secondary School, a Seventh-Day Adventist boarding school I attended in South Africa. A generous percentage from each DVD sale will go towards the school to help with refurbishment. It is only through your help that this dream will be realised so let us partner together to make this possible. This cause has become the reason I keep singing. I have songs ready for the studio for my second album! Even with that album a percentage will go to Cancele Senior Secondary School. God has been too good. My commitment to Cancele School is my way of saying thank You.”

To read more about Mahli Selepe visit:   www.mahaliselepe.co.uk


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