Award-winning South African gospel artist Solly Mahlangu is coming to Zimbabwe at the invitation of the Apostolic Faith Mission Mabelreign’s Shiloh Word Miracle Centre Assembly. Mahlangu will perform during the 2012 Open Heavens Crusade.

Reverend Onismo Sasa confirmed that Open Heavens Crusade, which is now in its fourth year would run from September 3 to 9. Mahlangu is slated to perform on September 8 at the Harare International Conference Centre.

Mahlangu, who will share the stage with popular musicians such Baba and Amai Charamba, ZimPraise and the Shiloh Word Miracle praise and worship group, is currently riding on the wave with his hit songs Obrigado sikwembu samadima (Thank you almighty God) and Wahamba Nathi (Siyabonga Jesu). Many local gospel artists will also perform.

Mahlangu has collaborated with other popular musicians such as Keke Phoofolo who was the guest artist together with Zanele at the 2011 Open Heavens crusade. His album “Mwamba Mwamba” won the best Traditional Faith Music Album category at the South African music award this year. In 2009 he won the Best Gospel song at the SABC gospel crown awards in Durban.

Born in Tembisa Township in the Eastrand, Mahlangu was raised by his grandmother and mother. He never knew his father. He has been in the gospel music industry for 20 years. He was raised in a Christian home where going to church was the order of the day. It was a blessing for Solly because that is where he discovered his God-given talent.

He asked one of his friends in the church who played the accordion to teach him. Mahlangu was so passionate about it that he learned to play in one day and since then he never looked back. At a very young age, he was largely singing at conferences, churches, schools, youth camps and many other places. At 18, he became exposed to life as he began travelling overseas.

He is married to Nomkhosi and they have three daughters. Mahlangu is also a pastor who believes that “it is always better to be ready and have no opportunity than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”