TVSA blogger Makisto interviewed Lundi in 2010 so we're republishing the interview in memory of him following his death today (27 January) as a result of stomach TB and a liver condition. He was 38.
This is the interview...
The Prince of Gospel has been performing all over the country and wasn’t able to pitch up for our face-to-face interview. Lundi and I ended up having a telephonic interview.
Bula Music’s publicist Dudu Dlamini tried to call me in the morning since about 7:30 and I didn’t notice my cell phone was off. I arrive at Bula Music in Auckland Park right on time for our appointment at 10:00, excited that I will finally get to meet my most favourite artist. You see, Lundi [and Sechaba Padi] is the only artist whom I can without a doubt say, I am a huge fan of. I have all 10 of his 11 albums after all.
Lundi albums cover sleeves/posters are on the walls and it’s clear the albums are best sellers.
As I make my way to the reception, Dudu comes to welcome me and tells me Lundi isn’t around. She ushers me into her office and there are various Lundi albums cover sleeves/posters on the walls and it’s clear the albums are best sellers.
Dudu leaves the office [trying to organise me a telephonic interview with the gospel star], I look around and see a flyer with the words, Bula Music Christmas Hits and it’s Lundi and Sechaba’s 2010 albums.
When she returns, I ask Dudu why I didn’t know Sechaba has a 2010 album. “It was released on 4 November. It means I am not doing my job well,” she chuckles.
[Some] People don’t love Lundi, they love to hate him.”
I ask if I can get a Sechaba cd titled Thank you, to review and she opens a box under her table and gives me a copy [You can expect the review next week]. We then talk about Lundi and TVSA. “I was on your website earlier this week and it’s about the hip and happening on the entertainment industry and I’m not sure Lundi fits into that category. I like the website because it is very interactive and very lively,” she says.
“On TVSA we write about anyone and everyone,” I say. “When our news editor Tashi Tagg posted the winners of the Crown Gospel Music Awards, I commented on Lundi winning in the Classic of all time category and we had this big Lundi talk.
Then Dudu says: “The media hasn’t been very good to Lundi. Sometimes they write good things about him then suddenly there is bad publicity.” I then interject her, “…but people love Lundi.” And she replies “No they [some people] don’t love him, they love to hate him.”
And I think there is some truth in what she says. And she continues, “You will find people asking him the same questions time and over again. They go like, Lundi, are you gay? Are you still on drugs?” I reply, “So what if he is gay, will they win any award for that?” She replies. “Exactly, so, what if I’m gay?”
Lundi has proven himself to be an amazing entertainer with a personality set for the stage.
She then also gives me a Kaya People of Africa CD for me to review and I smile inwardly. She goes out and comes back after a few minutes and my telephonic interview with Lundi is sorted.
Before we start with the interview, let’s look at Lundi’s biography from Bula. Lundi is considered one of the countries greatest performers for many years now and is able to attract an audience of thousands.
He has proven himself to be an amazing entertainer with a personality set for the stage. This, coupled with his amazing live vocal abilities, makes watching Lundi perform live a memorable experience.
It was unsurprising then that Lundi took part in a live DVD. By combining his own musical expertise with that of his band members, Lundi put together a brilliant musical package for a live DVD shoot.
He has grown in fame and popularity and despite the controversy and [bad] publicity he has had to endure over the years
Lundi is one of a handful of South African Artists who have exceeded unit sales of one million, with every release having exceeded double platinum. His incredibly powerful voice has gripped the nation and abroad since the beginning of his musical career in 1998.
He has grown in fame and popularity and despite the controversy and [bad] publicity he has had to endure over the years, thousands still testify to the impact Lundi’s music is having in their lives.
I am on the phone speaking with Lundi Tymara and the guy commands energy and is very enthusiastic about what he is talking about and even kind of makes it clear who is in charge of the interview. I introduce myself and tell him for the purpose of this interview my name is Makisto. I outline what my mission is and I tell him I would like to talk about his music, bad publicity and Christmas.
I started by asking him, 11 albums and still going strong! How has been your experience over the years?
No it’s not 11, it’s 13 [he is referring to two of his The best of Lundi]. It wasn’t easy mfwethu. You know in everything one does there are ups and downs and my downs are many compared to my ups. I looked at my situation and gave everything to Jesus. At the end of the day, I can only emerge a stronger person.
I have been waiting for 9 years for a song that will take a Mphefumlo Wami route and when I heard Size sifike ezweni, I was like, this is it. Another classic and my prayers, and probably yours too were answered when you won Crown Gospel Award for classic of all time with that song…[Lundi interjects]
There can never be any song like Mphefumlo Wami, that song is indeed a classic [and the continued demand of that song proves it]. It was my breakthrough into the music industry, there can only be one Mphefumlo Wami. I didn’t expect the success I got with that album mfwethu and when uThixo calls you, he calls you with a purpose. I am very fortunate that I get to do what I love most.
I am a big fan of yours and I have 10 of your 11 albums and that’s because I can’t find Phaphamani anywhere. Each time your album releases, I run from store to store looking for it and so does many other thousands Lundi fans out there. Do you think we buy your music because of the Lundi brand or because your music is very relevant.
Oh wow! You are my fan, wow, that’s great mfwethu [with the continued mention of mfwethu, which is most arguably a masculine word, I wonder where these gay allegations come from]. You must mention in your story that you are my fan.
As for relevance, before a song can be a great song to other people, it must first be great to me and those I’m working with. I don’t take people for granted because they must get quality music and they deserve to get their money’s worth and one must sustain the brand of releasing good music. I always try and work with great people in the industry.
Please tell your readers that on 16 December is my birthday and I will be at Vanryn Place of Safety in Benoni with my musician friends. We will be singing for the children there and having a great time. Everybody is welcome to join us.
Do you have fans shouting Lundi every time you walk on the streets?
They do all the time mfwethu and sometimes you find maybe I’m in a hurry to a bank and people want to talk and take pictures with me.
It isn’t always easy to explain that I’m rushing somewhere because mfwethu ukuthi lendaba kumele ebe ye 50/50 because these are people who buy my music and I must make time for them. However, banks close at certain times. For me, people matter most because I am who I am because they buy my music and come to my shows.
Lundi, over the years, you have received your fair share of bad publicity. How do you deal with such situations?
Many things have been written about me and many of them are not even true. I have learnt to put everything to uJesu because I cannot do anything without Him. He is the source of my strength.
I have realised that people don’t always believe what they read in the papers. Journalists have the power to make a star and they have the power to break that particular person.
Yes I have received good publicity but when journalists are done with you, they will chew you and spit you out mfwethu just like that. Jurnalists can be great to you but not all the time. It is especially important for us as artists to be mindful of the things we do.
Uhambo lwam from Ngiyabonga  chronicles your journey in the music industry and you talk about how you first started in the music industry and continue chronicling your challenges with booze and drugs. How did that song come about?
Eish, that song…[there is a little silence on the other end of the line]. Can we talk about my current album please?
Ok, in your new album Uhambo’ lwami/My journey, there is a song called Buya Mhlobo buya. Man, that song is hot! It has the makings of…[Lundi interjects]
Mfwethu, this album is about my life. If there is anyone who doesn’t know me, they should buy this album and they will know who I am. Buya mhlobo buya is about me. I was lost and lost my purpose in life and forgot about God’s greatness.
I lived my life and didn’t wanna involve God in it. I was really lost. Then it dawned on me that I am actually behaving like a prodigal son and decided it’s time ndibuyele kuJesu because he died for me. Even when the media writes bad things about me and tell things that aren’t true, it’s the same as what we did to Christ. He came from heaven to show us His love for us but we rejected and crucified Him. Mna ndithemebele kuJesu (I trust in Jesus and put everything to him).
We are now in the festive season. What do you love about Christmas?
For me Christmas is about family and family time. For instance, I am in Joburg ‘ya bona mfwethu and my family is in Cape Town. So, on Christmas Day I will be spending 100% of my time with my family.
What are your childhood memories about Christmas?
I remember my mom bought me a pair of shoes and I loved them so much. We were having a dance thing going at school and I would always wear those shoes because I loved them so much even though the teachers were quite specific about what we should wear on that dance group. I am getting bored, another question please.
Where do you go to church?
I don’t have a specific church I go to. I go to all the churches and every church that invites me, I attend. I don’t want to be a member of a particular church.
How is your new album doing on the market?
My new album is doing very well [I can tell he is smiling] and I am grateful to everyone who is supporting me and thank you too Makisto for being my fan. I really appreciate all the support and I love you guys because you continue to buy my music despite what has been written about me.
We as your fans love you too Lundi and it will take more than just bad publicity for loyal fans like me to stop buying your music. Credit must be given where it is due. I’m only gonna speak for myself here; I find that your music is uplifting and entertaining and I like that about it.
Thank you bhuti, I appreciate it.
Thank you Lundi for your time. I appreciate you taking your time to talk to me. You are a star.
My interview is over and I tell Dudu how great Lundi was. I show her my 10 al;bums I brought with me for Lundi to sign. “Ah, the guy has disappointed you. You are his biggest fan,” she says. She then gives me Lundi’s Phaphamani album because I am not able to find it in stores.
She also wants to give me Uhambo lwami but I tell her I have already bought it so there is no need and I thank her nonetheless. “We appreciate you supporting Lundi Makisto and please continue doing so,” she says.
Lundi: Uhambo lwami/My journey album review
When I saw the title name at Musica, I was like, mos is the name of the song from Ngiyabonga but nonetheless, being a loyal fan that I am, I bought it without listening to it first. When I played it on my home theatre, I was pleased. The album kick starts with the Crown Gospel Award winning song Size sifike ezweni and if you adore songs like Mphefumlo Wami, Mina Ngithembu Jesu, you will like this song.
There is something about Lundi’s music. When I compare all his albums, the sound and rhythm has changed over the years but he is consistent with his new beats. For instance, Mphefumlo Wami and Mvuleleni Angene/Usigcine [his first two albums] have the same rhythm. When I listen to Uhambo lwami, it has some relation to Inkosi yayazi. However, the songs and lyrics are very distinctive from each other. For instance, Umasikhala kuwe from the 2010 album reminds me of 2009’s Ngithule lomthwalo and so does Senzeni  and Hamba ntliziyo . For me, that is a good thing because as a buyer, you are guranteed some great gospel. Also,Ngiyabonga goes together with Jeremiya 
Songs to look out for in My Journey are of course Size Sifike Ezweni , Senzeni, Come down Jerusalem, Buya mhlobo buya and umasikhala kuwe among others.
Though Lundi has matured musically or artistically, I would like to see him returning to the basics of Mphefumlo wami. My journey gets 3 and half stars from me.