Veliswa Skeyi on why she left Lord Comforters

2017-10-19 11:39
Gospel star Veliswa Skeyi

VELISWA Skeyi broke into the limelight in the mid-1990s as one of the lead singers of the once famous gospel group, Lord Comforters. After recording seven albums with the group, she launched her solo career in 2003 and went on to record nine albums.


Veliswa says becoming a gospel singer was a natural choice for her. “My parents and siblings sang in the church choir so when I started primary school I joined the school choir,” she explains. She moved on from the school choir by joining local gospel choirs until she ended up with Lord Comforters. “Joining the group was very sudden for me because a friend of mine who was a member asked me to visit them at the rehearsals. I joined the group soon after that visit.” But her decision was not welcomed by her father, who was uneasy about Veliswa going on tour with the group. “My elder sister had to sit him down and convince him to let me follow my passion. At some point, I took books with me on tour so I could study in between concerts and rehearsals but that did not happen because we were having fun. I still managed to pass.”


Her chance to pursue a solo career came when one of the managers for Lord Comforters suggested that path to Veliswa, whose schedule clashed with the choir's. “There were times when the group was booked to sing somewhere and I had commitments such as praying for people in hospitals,” she said.  


Veliswa says having her husband, Zanedinga Skeyi, as her manager has its benefits. “It has shielded me from the industry’s deceit and dishonesty. He always has my best interests at heart and makes the best decisions for me and my career. I do not have to worry about someone from the outside who might have ulterior motives."


Veliswa says the highlight of her career is performing for presidents Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. When she is not at school or singing, Veliswa enjoys doing community work. She’s currently involved in the Feed a Child campaign and goes to different homes that look after children who are orphaned by HIV or abandoned by their young mothers.


“I always advise people to know God first. Belong in a church that has a relationship with God so that you know what gospel to preach to the people through your music," she says. She also believes in getting an education. "Having knowledge is important. This industry has a lot of ups and downs. If you are not educated enough you might end up getting yourself into trouble. Educate yourself and have a brighter future and something to fall back," says the mother of three.