Legendary gospel singer and former lead vocalist of the legendary
gospel group International Pentecostal Church Choir popularly known (IPCC) Emma Mkhwanazi has died.
In a press statement by family, Mkhwanazi, age 64, died on Monday after struggling with health issues due to covid-19.
Mkhwanazi joined the choir in 1977 as one of the leading singers singing alongside choir founder – the late Priscilla Lekaba.
It was not until 1992 when Thami Mdluli took over the production of IPCC when the seasoned singer’s stardom quickly rose to fame. Her voice on the record – uThembekile which sold 350 000 units and counting, this assured record executives that IPCC would be one of SAs memorable gospel for years to come. After recording another record their smash hit album Mehleng Ya Bofelo recorded in 1995 sold an excess of 25 000 units in 2 days certifying it Gold in May 1996 and a month later the very same album was sold an excess of 50 000 units certifying the album as a Platinum record in July 1996, that album sold her 400 000 units and counting to date.
Emma’s voice had won the hearts of millions as one of South Africa’s Powerhouse singers cementing her voice and as iconic.
Legendary producer Thami Mdluli says, I started working with Emma Mkhawanzi in the year 1992 and out of all the artists I have worked with, she never missed a beat. Emma’s voice was distinctive and stood out, you could have her anywhere in front or at the back and she would shine through from all the voices within the group. Within her time at IPCC she laid her voices on albums such as Uthembekile which went 4 times platinum and sold over 200 000 albums and Ummeli Wethu which sold over 350 000 albums. Within Emma’s time with the choir
we sold over 4 million records.”
After her controversial departure from the group Emma Mkhwanazi went on to sign with Tammy Music Publishing where she released two solo records titled Ithemba Lingu Jeso and Ngiphakamise.
“After her departure from the group it was easy for me to work with her since we had worked together for many years. We easily recorded two albums and every moment shared in the studio was met with respect, love and professionalism”.
All records which Emma sang on within the group IPCC have been certified multi platinum. Mkhwanazi will be laid to rest on Tuesday. Details of the procession still to follow. Mkhawanazi is survived by two children.