In My Words: Joseph “Jozi” Malaza

No matter the genre, music is a universal language

Joseph ‘Jozi’ Malaza is a gifted musician popularly known for his contribution to gospel music through the Tshwane Gospel Choir. What many do not know is that Jozi creates music of various genres that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life. In this instalment of In My Words, we enjoy a conversation with Jozi about his life as a young man finding his faith, finding music, and eventually living through music.

Here are some quotables from our conversation:

You are well-known for your gospel ministry, give us a brief background on your walk with the Lord.

Like most people, I was brought up in church and my mom was a strong believer, but I only made the choice to be born again when I was 16 years old. There was a sermon preached by my best friend’s father, Bab’ Msiza and he preached about Gethsemane and the day leading up to when Jesus would be crucified. It was an open air, I don’t know if people will still remember open airs but that preaching was an open air. I was singing in the church choir, leading worship but not born again. I think many people make the mistake of thinking that growing up in church automatically makes you a Christian but it doesn’t. You have to make the decision to be born again and accept Jesus as Lord. That preaching by Bab’ Msiza changed my life, I still think about it everyday and it still makes me want to live everyday intentionally, like it’s my last.

What have you learnt about music and being a musician?

Music does not have limits, it goes everywhere and touches everyone. I have also learned that when you are a complete artist, you become a minister. If you look at the story of Kind David you will see that he brought healing through his music but we don’t know which songs he sang to Saul that made the evil spirit leave, we just know he sang. That’s why I don’t think we should discriminate against any genre. For me, it’s all about the message that the song carries.

You have a song with Dinho titled Spinning Around, how did that song come about?

We were in studio playing some beats and we decided we should talk about the first time you see a beautiful lady and how that makes you feel. It was an easy song to write because I have a beautiful wife. It’s a happy and feel good song expressing love and just letting your woman know how she makes you feel. I think love is a ministry too.

Studio culture is known to be one filled with booze and the likes – given your beliefs, how do you navigate such spaces?

It’s about choice at the end of the day. I embrace everyone and embracing everyone does not mean you have to participate in everything they do. If you are in studio to record, then do that and let those who enjoy a joint and alcohol do their thing. You can be grounded in your beliefs without being judgmental and that’s what grows relationships because at the end of the day we are all people and we have to live together.

What’s next?

I want to expand in business and be a real businessman. I’m growing up and I don’t want to see myself performing spinning around when I’m 50 with grey hair. I want to build an empire for my kids and a legacy for my family. But I also want to record an afro pop album, that’s the one thing that’s missing from my catalogue.

Check out the rest of our conversation in the video below.

#InMyWords | Joseph “Jozi” Malaza – Siqonde Khaya | Uthando Lwakho | Nguye