WATCH: Rebecca Malope on career, motherhood, and being a grandma.


WATCH: Rebecca Malope on career, motherhood, and being a grandma.

Dr. Rebecca Malope is an internationally recognized and honored gospel artist. For more than thirty years, the queen of gospel music has assisted many souls in finding healing. She’s mostly unscathed by the volatile music industry because to her unique voice and trademark German hairstyles.

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After Rebecca’s sister and best friend Cynthia passed away suddenly in 1996, Rebecca, who cannot have children of her own, had to take care of her three children, Zweli, Noluthando and Thandeka.

It was a tough time, Rebecca explains, but she was only too happy to raise them as her own. “I worked really hard and made sure they were fed, and went to school,” she says.


Noluthando says when her biological mom passed away, it was easy for her to accept Sis Ribs as her mom. “It was a very easy transition because she and our mom were very close.They had both already been raising us simultaneously, and she was our second mom. At the time our mom passed away, we were already living with her,” she says.

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Noluthando describes her mom as fun yet strict. “She is more of a mentor and constantly wants to know what I am up to in terms of my career and business. She is always trying to organise our lives,” she says with a laugh.

The youngest of the three children, Thandeka, also emphasises how strict their mom is. “When we were still in school, our friends’ parents needed to call her and confirm that indeed we were going to visit their home.”This protectiveness continued even when she was at Varsity College studying for her BA in corporate communications, Thandeka says.

But through it all, they will never forget the lessons they’ve learnt from the gospel star. Sis Ribs taught them to work hard and strive for independence.Noluthando says, “She has always emphasised the importance of being independent outside of your mom, your sister or your husband.”


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Noluthando manages her mother in addition to running her own public relations and management firm, Artistry Talent Management, and pursuing a degree in marketing.
She is a television presenter as well, having hosted Married in a Flash on SABC3. The entrepreneur says that when she originally started her company, nobody ever recognized her as her own brand; instead, they would only refer to her as “Rebecca’s daughter.”

Noluthando says the family usually spends the weekend at Rebecca’s house. The three children have all moved out of the family nest but don’t stay too far from each other.“We love to chill and watch TV. She loves cooking and so she will prepare meals while we catch up on what is going on in our lives,” she says.

Rebecca’s singing career began in 1987, when she became well-known right away after winning the Shell Road to Fame song competition.The famous singer had always aspired to be a gospel artist, and she had even collaborated with the Soweto Congregational Church Choir to create a gospel CD. However, it was withheld so she could compete in and win the Shell competition.The mother of three has put out 36 albums in all.

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