This month we dedicated In Sync to feature pioneers of SA CHH, these are artists, promoters, radio personalities, concert organisers and managers. This week we get to know the young Durban pioneer Touch Da 8th Wnda, your pastor’s favourite DJ.

“Well 2020 gave us some breathing room, this year was supposed to be the very first ever show with #MisfitsFest in Umlazi but due to Rona, we had to postpone. I’m also looking forward to putting together a SACHH Compilation of all my fav rappers on one disk… I hope I can get the guys to agree but all this is for 2021. Right now, I’m just looking forward to getting married. That’s my biggest project of the year!” outlined Thabo, who will be marrying his fiancé Zamokuhle Ngcobo soon so if you didn’t get the invite please look out for the pictures from this stylish Christian couple.

Thabo shared that his influences are forward thinkers, people who don’t see Christianity as a rule book but rather a way of life and about having a more intimate relationship with Jesus, “but to be real I have a lot of influences, a lot of them are pastors, rappers, musicians and podcasters, not forgetting the old and wise,” he added.

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Examples of such are those Touch pronounced to be the pioneers of SA CHH, “I think there’s been a few guys for me, musicians and promoters who have pioneered the genre: you can’t speak of CHH and not speak of Mawat – I Praise God was a definite hit as his former Dj Mawat still can’t leave a stage without performing that song. Rough Diamond Projects’ Gregory Cassim, Fresh Impressions’ Harold Moyo and Last Days Fam. Those kats paved the way bro. Respect them!” Personally, Touch is a creative in the spaces of radio, photography and advertising. “When you hear “the Hottest Christian Hip Hop show on the radio” who’s name pops up? No one right? Which means I still need to work hard to do that in CHH and put it on the map, make Jesus known and proclaimed. And with that, I would describe what I do in 3 words: Teach, Disciple, Endorse: by declaring one’s public approval to support or go do the same to others,” he explained.

He currently hosts the “I Rock Saturdayz” radio show on Highway Radio, and he is the art director at the Niche Guys also aspiring to collaborate with Trace Gospel; “I’m excited about the stuff that’s happening there, One Gospel (I think they should give me a show), Joyous Celebration; my mom would be proud and my Cape Town kats Living Legacy; in fact, the whole gang,” answered Touch.

Although being young Touch has used the platforms given to him to expose people to SA CHH, he noted that his most memorable moment in SA CHH was when Church Boyy Bizness won the first Crown Award for Best Gospel Rap “I think it was back in 2017 I felt like I was part of that journey, the year before we had a dope interview on #Irocksaturday the show I do on Highway Radio and we spoke about how I felt like they were the Joshua Generation, having to go somewhere where you’ve never been to get to where you’ve never gone before, crossing the Jordan River, and everything it took them to be on the other side”

He pointed out that promotion is not just radio tours and tv interviews it’s your lifestyle and a way of life. How does your way of life promote Jesus Culture? So as artists we need to back up our music like Sho Baraka puts it “If you don’t live behind your bars you and I don’t jail (jell), cause we need people who we gonna call Jonah cause they are living well (Whale).” Promotion is the whole package; the whole look and feel, and that’s where these secular rappers beat us in understanding a brand and what it takes to be one.

We need to stop preaching to the choir and get onto commercial radio stations. Thami Ngubeni is on Metro with #TheSacredSpace we need likeminded shows to penetrate the commercial and bring in a different voice and a youthful perspective to church, not everyone who’s a Christian and from eLokishini listens to iTende. There are kids like myself who prefer their Gospel to be more jiggy, I’m not saying conform but study the trends and steal like an artist, meaning take that which you need to improve and uplift.

Touch Da 8th Wnda

Thabo explained that as the SACHH nation we need to change our strategy and relook the value we put into albums; in his opinion, we need to focus on singles; HIT SINGLES. “We need to do more songs that breakthrough, and by “breakthrough” I mean Master KG – Jerusalema breakthrough, I think the biggest thing we keep forgetting about that song is that it’s a Gospel song, it became so well acclaimed that it being a gospel song was secondary. Hence, we need to start thinking like that, we need to think big and not just simmering below but tearing the roof off,” he explained furthermore that we need singles that will do damage like Skwatta Kamp’s – Umoya and Jub Jub – Ndikhokhele, so fewer albums and more single hits are needed for SA CHH to progress, and that we need to be intentional because CHH slaps differently. “It’s the content of how one can package a sermon into a song, make it catchy, and feel somehow cool and potent. Take Lecrae’s latest joint “Zombie” and peep the message; it’s such a simple song that in a nutshell speaks of 2 Corinthians 5 v 17,” he shared.

Stage Presence, Crowd interaction and Track selection are 3 things Your Pastor’s Favourite DJ highlights to be what makes or breaks a live performance. He listens to all the local CHH artists but Last Days Fam, Church Boyy Bizness, and Libra are his favourite SA CHH artists. He also suggested we be on the lookout for Zeal, Brandon Gospel, Libra, Phreyz and Siz. “Can we just make dope music, and by dope, I mean let’s not have excuses for our craft, CHH is a Ministry on its own and we need to take it seriously and service the Church properly. Most of the known CHH Kats are more dope than some of these secular rappers, so let’s stick to it and not get weary of doing Good. Let’s make it hard for these secular rappers to ignore us. We have everything it takes to be great, and the big bonanza is that we have Jesus on our side!” encouraged Touch da 8th Wnda.

Thabo’s contribution to SA CHH is notable even in its early stages for we expect him to be quite impactful with his creative vision for how and where SACHH will go forward. Follow Thabo on social media @touchda8thwnda, catch his radio show every Saturday between 12h00 and 15h00 on Highway Radio 101.5 FM (www.highwayradio.org.za). As we salute the many pioneers that have gone before us and are in our midst, those who have been featured in other articles and those yet to come to know that your contribution is valuable and needed in advancing the Kingdom of God through the art and culture we’ve been called to. So rise up pioneer the SACHH nation needs you.

SACHH raises the flag and raises the bars.