Krip-Hop Nation (KHN) It’s been a long time. I am so glad we met face to face before the documentary. Please tell us what is different now since the time we met in San Francisco?
Prudence Mabhena: The time we met i was young, a bit quiet and shy. Although we had travelled a few countries, won a music award in Africa, but i think the message we wanted to put across the entire world that Disability does not mean inability had not sunk that much in people’s hearts. Now i am an Oscar winner, an advocate for children with disabilities, an Ambassador for CasualDay South Africa and world musician. Through the documentary Music by Prudence, some people think that i am an actress as well… Ha ha ha… I find it very funny…
KHN: I want to concentrate on now & the future but i want to ask one question on your feelings on how the documentary & everything around before, during & after?
Prudence Mabhena: Before the documentary, I felt that life was different and very much challenging in a sense that only countable people had faith in the band, in people with disabilities and in our school. The uncountable ones saw a bunch of useless disabled group trying to be musicians before performing for them, but after every performances we did, we would hear the audience coming on stage to confess to us, saying their thoughts before the show and after. So it took us to believe in ourselves to make the world believe in us.
During the Doc i felt like a very important celebrity u know, being followed around by big cameras. Every morning waking up finding someone standing besides my bed carrying a huge camera wooo… , but it came to a point when i just got tired and annoyed by the same routine grrrr… That’s when i realized that being a Celebrity is hard. After the the doc, i felt relieved, not knowing that there was more coming, worse than 2 cameras following me. THE OSCARS. That was demanding. I couldn’t believe my eyes on the red carpet with thousands of photo cameras and video cameras as well. When i saw all that, i spoke to myself in my own language and said ‘yooooo… What on earth is this?’ i was a real celebrity when i got back home and thanked GOD that at least the point was proven that it is not about what one sees on the outside, but it’s what i can dish out. Thats when the song LIYANA accapela was composed. It simply says ‘we are coming to dish what we have.’ Which the music and the joy.
KHN: Now to today, you are working on a Gospel album with a producer who wants to have African music control & produce be people in Africa. There has been a lot of outsiders coming in & producing film & music. What do feel about that & talk about your producer/team that you are working with on this album
Prudence Mabhena: I feel great when outsiders come and do filming and music because i also believe in cultural exchange, they appreciate my style of writing, singing and i appreciate their technical work, we work together and create something different and supper natural hey. I have ever been wishing to do one Gospel album, but a few LIYANA guys were not in to Gospel that much, so i decided to do it in my spare time. I had the zeal to do it and thank GOD i did it. I wanted to thank and praise the LORD for my entire life by recording the album and also showing that i am gifted in writing all different genres and i did prove my point. My producer is an Adventist, he is a gospel musician too and he has a disability. So we got connected through church closer to where i lived. I used to sing there whenever i visited and so he told me he was a producer and that how my dream came true. I recorded and launched it in Bulawayo my city (the city of Kings and Queens) in 2013.
KHN: I know the members of Liyana are scatter around the world, however are there talks about coming together form another album?
Prudence Mabhena: We tried to get together 2014 the remaining 5 members including me, but there wasn’t much of progress because each band member was concentrating on other project and work, so we ended up moving on with what we were doing Individually. May we will record one day when we all get together the 8 of us.
KHN: With this new album are you planning on touring?
Prudence Mabhena: Well if i am to tour, i would be singing a few songs from the album, the other songs i wrote and performed with liyana and a lot of new compositions.
KHN: what chances in your country or community since winning the Oscar especially for people with disabilities?
Prudence Mabhena: No one with a disability could speak and be heard, but now disability organizations are making it because what they say is likely to be heard, even if it’s something that needs fixing, they do fix although it takes ages sometimes. Parents are now learning to accept their children with disabilities and the community which we should be grateful of now. In the arts industry inclusion is also knocking praise GOD.
KHN: I still would love to have you do a song for Krip-Hop Nation. Tell me what can other musicians with disabilities learn from your journey?
Prudence Mabhena: To the musicians with disabilities. It is the determination, courage, confidence and your talent that makes you be wherever you want or dream to be not the disability. So don’t concentrate on your disability but on what you are capable of and remember you can be anywhere you want to go, the sky is the limit and the road to success is endless.
KHN: Tell us what Gospel music is like in Africa, is it the same here in US & who in Gospel do you like and why?
Prudence Mabhena: African Gospel is totally different from the US one although w’ll all be singing about GOD. The way the songs are written and sang, the chord progression and sound is different. My favorite Gospel musician is Kirk Frnklyn because i feel that he sings with his heart and soul and his music touches me. I am always inspired by his music and i wish i could write and direct like him. His choir too, amazing.
KHN: you wrote about people with disabilities in your songs tell us why is that important to you & are there songs on that topic on your new album?
Prudence Mabhena:It gives an impact when one teaches from experience. I wrote a song on disability issues because i know what and how it is to live with it. When i am motivating, i share my story because it is true and it comes straight from my heart. That is what changes the world’s perspective and attitude towards disability. In my new album, there is no song with a message on disability. I only sing about Faith in GOD, holding on, Heaven, the power and impotence in prayer no matter what situation, thanking GOD for my life etc
KHN: Tell us what kind of music you like & would you ever think about doing a Hip-Hop song?
Prudence Mabhena: I love Jazz music, but i don’t sing it. Well i listen to different kind of music and i end loving every type. Ha ha ha ha…… Hip-Hop… I can’t say i am good or bad, but as i said that the sky is the limit i can try anything and nothing can stop me.
KHN: What is next for you & can you write one of your favorite songs or verse from your new album here?
Thank you LORD for saving me
Thank you LORD for guiding me
Thank you LORD for being with me your name be praised
You gave me love, you game me peace, you gave me joy in my life
you took me from darkness, you showed me the light, you fed me when i was hungry may your name be praised…
That’s one of my favorites. Now i am working on a single called this is my story based on my life history and what i have achieved “Music by Prudence” and “After.”
KHN: How we stay in contact with u & support your art/music?
Prudence Mabhena: Now it’s easy to get me on Facebook search for Prudence Mabhena, my fb page as well Prudy Angel Voice Mabhena, email add email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
KHN: Much love to you! Any last words.
Prudence Mabhena: To all my fans and friends that supported me from the start.. Thank you so much for being there for me and encouraging me to push where a push was needed and pull where pulling was needed. I appreciate the love, care and faith u had and still have in me. To whoever that dreams big out there, dreams do come true, but don’t let fear over rule in your life, push, pray until it happens. To everyone with a disability. ‘Don’t search for gold u because it is inside you’ it’s only that no one has ever told you.