February 5, 1967
|Education||Butshe Primary School|
|Alma mater||Siyaphambili Secondary School|
|Years active||1993 - Current|
|Organization||Ndolwane Super Sounds Amangwe|
|Children||He has seven children|
|Relatives||Abson Ndebele (Late)|
Charles Ndebele is one of the founder members of the popular group Ndolwane Super Sounds. He started together with his uncle Abson Ndebele, Honest Kamanga and Develop Moyo forming a group which was known as The Big Four which recorded one album entitled Noyana.
Charles was born on 05 February 1967 at Butshe in Plumtree and attended school at Butshe primary as from 1974 then later on went to Siyaphambili Secondary School where he completed his O’levels. He was raised by his grandmother -from his mother’s side (Ndebele clan) hence he adopted their surname. He used to sing at a tender age whilst at school until he completed his Secondary School education. He has seven children (five girls and two boys).
His love for music was further influenced by his grandmother who used to ask him to sing for her at Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, thus where he learnt how to write gospel songs and played guitar made from plank, twine and cooking oil gallons. From there he grew in leaps and bounds and enjoyed a fruitful combination with his cousin Abson Bhule, subsequently forming the Big Four that in turn gave birth to the mighty Ndolwane Super Sounds. Ndebele’s first recording was in 1993 with the group The Big Four which was made up of him, Madalaboy and the now late Abson Ndebele and Develop Moyo. He later became a vital cog of arguably the most popular rhumba band from Matabeleland South, Ndolwane Super Sounds with his late cousin Abson and Martin Sibanda after the demise of musicians like Ndux Malax and Solomon Skuza, and with Ndolwane Super Sounds they had 14 albums until the group broke up with Charles going his way and Martin Sibanda going the other way.
The tragic loss of Abson Ndebele in January 2007,due to a road accident, meant that the frontline of Ndolwane was now left with Charles Ndebele and Martin Sibanda. The two continued the journey until Martin Sibanda left in 2011 to trade as Martin and Ndolwane. The following year Charles recorded his first solo project Azibuye Emasisweni (which now has a full DVD), followed by Impendulo in 2015 and later Umhlola in 2017. Charles is now trading as Ndolwane Super Sounds Amangwe productions-(Amangwe taken from his clan name as all the Zwane people are known to be belonging to Amangwe Amahle, traced down the memory lane to their wise king UMungwe Zwane.)
On his seven track album, Umhlola (bad omen), Ndebele said the title track was inspired by a South African publication which wrote a story that he had died. “I was shocked to read the story that I had died. I tried to engage the publication to retract the story but they did not entertain me. So as a musician the only platform I have for telling my own story is through music hence the song Umhlola, ” he said.
On Umuntu Yena, Ndebele laments people who talk ill about others and are jealous of their success. On Mmaladzi, a Kalanga word for “a divisive person” Ndebele challenges communities to be united while on Malume he thanks his uncle for the way he raised him, saying it prepared him for life and contributed to his success. Bekezela is a gospel song which is an appeal to friends to pray for him as he is failing to get answers to problems in life. In the song he collaborates with Dubia Masters, a band made up of former Ndolwane Super Sounds guitarists.
The last track, Bosso (Emagumeni) is dedicated to Highlanders Football Club. Its popularity hinges on the success of the team should the youthful project being set up by new coach Madinda Ndlovu bear fruit early. Ndebele says he learns a lot from other musicians like the late Leonard Dembo whom he says was a composer par excellence. “When we started as musicians it was not easy. We’d send our demos to studios who would listen and decide if the demo was good or bad. Many times we were sent back to work on our songs. “Ask musicians like Nicholas Zakaria, Alick Macheso and [[Chase Skuza], they’ll tell you that it was hard then,” he said.
- Mkhululi Ncube/Bongani Ndlovu, , Ndolwane Super Sounds, Published: 2 May, 2018, Accessed: 12 May, 2020