Kgothatso Tumisang Mosome is a drummer who hails from a small village of Witpoortjie, located on the West Rand of Gauteng.  “I am a Child of God, who I am is heavily inspired by my faith in Christ”, he told Jazz It Out.  He is the only child to a loving and supporting mother Pinky Mosome.  “She is really my heart and human form”, he said.

This laid back final year music student at University of KwaZulu-Natal attributes his love of music to the household where he grew up.  “My grandfather had a band whose lead singer was my grandmother.  He had a garage filled with every instrument you could think of”, he recalls.  Years later, his mother introduced him to praise and worship ministry in their church and would play Gospel in the car, home, and her office.  “Literally everywhere!”, he added.

He was just six years old when he started playing drums at his local church, something his mother encouraged him to continue.  Kgothatso also sang in choirs and led his own worship group with his peers, with his mother promising to buy him clothes as a way of motivation.  Besides singing, he was a sports fanatic who loved playing rugby and soccer with the boys.  “I was a busy body”, he said.  At one stage, he enrolled in a casting agency but never got an acting role.

Drummer Kgothatso Tumisang Mosome. Picture by Mfikination

Singing in choirs and leading his own worship group gave him a fulfilment of knowing that he was doing something with his gift that can affect the lens people see Jesus through.  “Leading a worship group, in fact, being a worshipper is not easy as people think of it because there are things about yourself and your personality that it confronts, one of them being your heart”, he explained.  He believes that when one leads people into an atmosphere of worship with a heart that doesn’t carry pure intentions, one has stolen people’s rights to witness and experience God for themselves.  “That’s the biggest injustice you could commit”, he added.

While at school, he enjoyed listening to Todd Dulaney.  “He was one of my biggest inspirations”, he said.  Kgothatso loved listening to musicians that had great bands as it made him curious to know who directed music in the recordings, and wanting to know in which state these musicians were going when making the music. Such musicians included Fred Hammond, Tye Tribbett and Marvin Sapp.  Locally, Afro Soul and Afro Jazz was his thing.  He loved Lira, particularly “The Captured Tour”, which was his huge favourite.

As a person who started playing drums and singing from a very tender age, there was no need to convince anyone at home about his ambitions to pursue music as a career.  “My mom was the one who pushed me to study.  She did the applications, even for funding”, expressing a huge sense of appreciation.  “As for my father, he named me Tumisang for that exact reason, because he knew there’s nowhere else I belong except in the business of music”, he added.  Sadly, his father passed away at a young age and wants to attribute his future successes in his honour and memory.

At a live performance with bassist Blessing Twala in the background. Picture by UKZN Press

Kgothatso draws a lot of inspiration from creatives such as Teddy Campbell, Brian Blade, Adam Blackstone, Robert Glasper and Quincy Jones.  “They inspire me to think like a creator and producer”, he said.  Everyone that he looks up to has changed the industry worldwide because of how they think and approach music.  They are always looking to create something new, even with existing music to make it create new experience for the audience.  “That’s what I want to do, to be able to create a new experience for listeners.  I wish that when they hear a song, they must remember how they felt the first time they heard me playing it”, he added.

He was very excited upon receiving news of his acceptance for enrolment at UKZN.  “I felt validated”, he said.  This very ambitious drummer with exceptional leadership qualities is completing B Music majoring in performance, composition and studio.  He has played with Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane, Mark Fransman and has been member of the UKZN Jazz Band for the past 3 years under the leadership of Neil Gonsalves.  For him, learning is not only confined to the lecture room.  It also occurs outside the university’s premises.

One of the things he firmly believes in is that being a music student requires one to have a teachable spirit because any musician that you come across always has information to share to make you a better musician.  He is friends with everyone in the music faculty.  “We have such a tight knit community”, he said.  His fellow bandmates in The Art Messengers and ‘big brother’ Nhlakanipho Zulu are like his family away from home.  “We fight, we laugh, literally do everything together”, with a chuckle.  He regards Thulile Zama as his second mother.

With members of The Art Messengers. From left to right – Thembalethu Bhengu, Makgashule Thothela, Kgothatso (middle), Sifundo Myeza and Zolile Mgqatsa. Picture by UKZN Press

In his opinion, UKZN is the best music school to be in.  “I feel motivated to work hard enough to have my name mentioned among the greats and determined to make it happen”, he said.  The extremely busy creative is in a process of pre-production of three of his own compositions which he hopes to release at the end of this year.  One of those tunes he is excited about is written for for an artist called Ntokozo Kunene, who is a second year vocalist at the tertiary institution.

One of Kgothatso’s wishes is to see more places where they as music students can play and more resources at their disposal, regardless of the music genre.  Music according to him is deeply rooted in the ability to affect the soul of a person. “We just want to play”, he asserted.  His future plans include producing, writing, touring with his worship group, and owning a label.  “I want to fill out a venue, a stadium, locally and overseas, performing with my team, giving Jesus to the people”, he said.

His favourite South African musicians are Sibusiso Mashiloane, Nduduzo Makhathini, Sphelelo Mazibuko, Nhlakanipho Zulu, Lungelo Ngcobo, Thulile Zama, Zolile Mgqatsa, Snikiwe Mabaso and many others.  Lately, his favourite international artist is Jamison Ross.  “What a great composer”, he said.  “Also, I love a drummer named Joshua Foster.  I have been following him since his days at Berklee”, he added.  On the Gospel front, Todd Galbeth, Jaylen Moore, Joseph Pryor and Jonathan Nelson are his go-to artists. Follow him on Instagram @tumisang.mosome as well as on Tik Tok and YouTube Tumisang Mosome.