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Q&A with William: Puleng March from growing up in a poor home in South Africa to taking on stages around the round

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Growing up in a poor home and community where people thought nothing good could come out from, Puleng March believed her God and stood her feet to man the challenge even at the time when people said to her she’s a failure and nothing good could come out of her. With little to no education, she has managed to carve a niche for herself in the densely populated South African Gospel scene.

Offered to play the lion king movie lead role in Singapore, the award-winning singer gradually is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the South African Gospel scene. Not only has the mother of two shared the stage with international gospel legend Kirk Franklin and world-renowned preacher T.D Jakes but also performed on many international platforms in
Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Dallas, Swaziland, New York, New Jersey, and a host of others.

Today, the celebrated singer, mother, and entrepreneur are fast spreading her wings beyond borders and it’s just, unbelievable. For her, the only report you should believe as a Christian about your life is God’s, not man.

She hopes to someday collaborate with Joe Mettle and other Ghanaian sensational female musicians in the coming years.

Today, the South African’s most celebrated choir, Joyous Celebrations Alumni takes us on a journey of her life, Joyous Celebration, Marriage, Album, and what she’s doing in her small power to change the world. She bares it all on Q&A with William.

Q: Tell me a bit about yourself, where you grew up and how that shaped the Puleng March we know today?

A: I was born and raised in the Northern Cape in Kimberley. I was raised by a single parent, my mother is a Pastor so my whole life was just church and singing everywhere you meet me. I have siblings, two sisters. I am a born again Christian and I love the Lord dearly. I was raised in the house of the Lord, started singing at a very early age, I sang at church in the streets, weddings and funerals…I was raised by a God-fearing woman, she raised me to be strong, God-fearing, and a hard-working woman.

Q: How easy or difficult was it for you growing up as a child and how did that influence the kind of music you do now?

A: I was born in a poor area and nobody believed that something good can come from the location I was born in.
I was surrounded by negativity, but I thank God for my mother who stood strong in teaching me about Christ…Christ saved and shaped the Puleng you know today, I was able to grow and become something or someone everybody is looking up to. Thankfully, I inspire young and old.

Q: Let’s talk about Puleng and JC… How did you join Joyous Celebrations and what was the feeling like when you were first chosen to be part of JC’s big family?

A: I Joined JC in 2011 after coming back from Singapore, from Playing Nala in the Lion King, I was approached by Mr Mkhize to come and join the choir but I had to finish my contract with Disney before I can join, so after Lion King, I joined JC…I was very happy, I loved every moment.

Q: What was the one thing that made you say, ‘I want to join this group’?

A: One thing that made me agree to join was the love to praise and worship and believe the Platform was amazing to do that for the Lord.

Q: The first time you were told you’ll be leading a song at JC. How was it like for you and which song was it?

A: I was scared at first when I was given a song but later excitement crept in when I saw the amazing reception from everybody, especially the audience and testimonies from people. And the song was Motho Mang Leng.

Q: What was your most challenging moment with Joyous Celebration?

A: My most challenging moments were rehearsing till late hours, as a wife and a mother, it was very challenging but God kept me.

Q: Would you agree that Joyous Celebration has added some “value” to your brand and ministry?

A: Yes, I agree that JC added value to my brand and ministry because it introduced me to the world and I grew because of what I have learned in JC.

Q: Walk us through Makoti Enkosini and what inspired your decision to form such an initiative?

A: I’m the founder of Makoti Enkosini (wives in the Lord). This is a ministry that effectively empowers wives and future wives to connect to their spirituality through the word of God. It is a ministry that empowers wives to overcome obstacles or challenges through God-given strength. The decision was truly inspired by God after I got married. God laid this in my heart to bring wives together and just pray together, support each other, help each other as wives. Help to build our homes, with the guidance of the holy spirit because we learn so much from each other as wives and the word of God is also teaching us a whole lot through this.

Q: How do you juggle between family and ministry and all that you do, considering the fact that you’re a wife and a mother?

A: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He helps me to be able to juggle through everything and the support of my husband is really everything…

Q: Tell us about your album ‘Marching On’ and what went into that amazing album?

A: I released a beautiful, spirit-filled album “Marching Marching”, I thank God. It wasn’t easy but it was all worth it. I worked with amazing musicians like Soyanqoba Mthethwa who is the Producer of the Album. The band, Snikiwe, QhubekaniFrank, and magic hand and God really honored me with amazing backing gifted singers from Joyous celebrations, the likes of Buhle Thela, Xoli Mncwango, Nhlanhla Zofo, I also worked with Johny Vilakazo another amazing and gifted singer.
With no help from big companies, it was only me, my husband, and Boikutsos. Thankfully, we managed to bring out amazing work. I am proud of what I have done with the little that I had and as an independent artist.

Q: When you first announced the establishment of your own record label, you sort of gave a long caption on social media which says “As a black child don’t allow anybody to tell you that, you can’t and won’t make it”. Did someone ever tell you that you can’t make it in life?

A: Yes I had people who said I won’t make it. It is hard out there, it’s expensive plus you are a woman…but I chose to believe in what God was saying about my life.

Q: Generally, what do you think has become a stumbling block for Gospel musicians in Africa when it comes to growth?

A: I think what becomes a stumbling block is not believing in yourself and your craft but rather trusting someone else to do things for you.We want things to just happen for us, yet we do not want to put effort and slave through to make things happen for us. We need to fall in love with our work first before we expect the world to love us…You can block your own growth, nothing should be able to block your growth.

Q: Do you think Urban Gospel in your part of the world would ever be accepted by South Africans as they have with the traditional Gospel?

A: I think Urban has already been accepted and it’s growing gradually, the traditional gospel will always take the first place as it is in all other countries. You fall in love with what you are and know first, what you grew up listening to, then all others will follow.

Q: As an award-winning artist, what do you think needs to be done to enable African Gospel music to travel worldwide like the other genres?

A: I think we as African artists need to collaborate, work together and conquer Africa together first before we go to the world. The world will be attracted to our sound when we make enough noise together, the noise will be so big to shake the world.

Q: Which Ghanaian Gospel artiste would you like to collaborate with?

A: Joe Mettle,and any Gospel female artist.

Q: For a woman in your position, it seems it is all work and no play. So what do you do at your leisure time?

A: In my leisure time, I spend time with my family, I love cooking, so I cook and after, I go through my kids’ projects.

Q: I know it will be difficult but before we go, name five (5) of your favorite singers in JC?

A: Puleng March 2.Buhle the 3.NGod’Skazi Mnsomi 4.Mkhululi Bhebhe 5. Sbu Noah.

Q: Finally, any advice for the many youth and upcoming ministers who look up to you?

A: Make sure you stay in prayer, you only hear God’s voice, shut your ears to the many voices outside that may distract you from hearing God speak, Believe and love in your craft first. Be humble.

Interview by: William Lamptey

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