By A Correspondent- Sandra Ndebele is a female Zimbabwean musician, director, actress, choreographer and dancer. She has made a name for herself in Zimbabwe as a versatile performer, having performed in India, Dubai, China, United Kingdom, Russia, Canada and Japan..She is currently an ambassador for Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, National Blood Service Zimbabwe, Mpilo Central Hospital and Suzuki. In 2018 Sandra rebranded herself as well as her music. She now dons a more modern look and has a high energy dance sound
She born on January 3, 1982 in Bulawayo and was raised in Tshabalala Township before her family moved to Nkulumane Township. She did her secondary education at Founders High School and is married to Nkanyiso Mbusi Sibindi and the couple has two children.
She did her secondary education at Founders High School in Bulawayo. In 2016 she sat for O’ Level Mathematics exams after doing revision lessons at Foundation College in Bulawayo. She said she was writing Mathematics exams as she wants to start teaching music. But for her to be able to do so, she needs to enrol at the Hillside Teachers College for a diploma in education majoring in music, of which Mathematics is a prerequisite. She also spent some time learning how to play the guitar at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo where Kwabatsha, through the Key Music project, were running a musical school.
Sandra started singing in church where she was an active member of the youth choir. While at Founders High School, she won first prize in the National Association of Secondary School Heads (NASH) public-speaking competition after she presented the speech Black and Proud, by famed Zimbabwean poet, Albert Nyathi. She was later incorporated into a lead role performing with Mpopoma High School performing theatre, music and dance. This troupe was the founding of Iyasa which toured Zimbabwe, Austria and the Czech Republic.
She later embarked on a solo career. She released her 10-track debut solo album, “Tshaya Tshaya”, in February 2003. In the same year of the release, she was nominated in three categories in the inaugural Zimbabwe Music Awards (ZIMA) which was held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) in December 2003. Sandra’s arrival on the scene was emphatic to the extent of being nominated in the same category with Alick Macheso and the late Oliver Mtukudzi for the Best Live Act award at Zimbabwe Music Awards. She was nominated in the Most Promising Artiste, Best Female and Best Urban Grooves (Female) Award categories.
In 2007 she donated a Baumanomet machine to Princess Margaret Rose Clinic in Bulawayo. The machine is used to check blood pressure. At the time of the donation, the clinic had gone without a Baumanomet machine for months. Her passion for assisting children with education saw her in 2004 holding a fundraising show at SOS Hermann Gmeiner Primary School in Bulawayo. SOS School Orchestra, the school’s marimba band, curtain raised for her, during the show that was held to fund raise for library books. In 2005 she performed at a number of primary schools in the country to assist them in raising funds. In Bulawayo she performed at schools which include Tategulu in Cowdray Park, Robert Tredgold in Makokoba, Mahlabezulu in Tshabalala and Barham Green Primary School. In Gwerushe performed at Munga Primary School in Ascot, Riverside Primary Schoo in Athlone and Matinunhura in Mkoba.
She also held shows to fundraise for Midlands State University. The shows were to raise funds for the building of a multipurpose hall, boosting the university library and improving gender awareness programmes. In 2006 she opened a culture centre, Umuzi Wakwethu and a restaurant specializing in traditional foods at Amakhosi Township Square Cultural Centre.
- 2003 – 2004 Tshaya Tshaya songs, Mama mama, Love you ma,
- 2004 – 2005 Ekhaya songs, Malaika, Ekhaya,
- 2005 – 2006 Ayoyoyo songs , Into yami, Nkulunkulu, Silver jubilee,Mwana wangu, Ayoyoyo
- 2006 – 2007 Dub-Encane songs, guva rangu, Zazingena, Gari mkaranga,Nomalanga
- 2008 – 2009 Life goes on songs, Inzima lindlela,Yithi laba, Sbali,Yarira ngoma, Sthandwa sami,Londolozela
- 2010 – South Africa Ayoba an open source project supporting the world cup.
- 2011 – Intombi Zomqangala Russia Project
- 2012 – Intombi Zomqangala Canada, Russia, United Kingdom Project
- 2013 – No Matter What songs, Jaiva, Uthwelizembe, Bamb’ iqolo, Our Beautiful Zimbabwe, Abantwana, LOVE.
- 2016 – Ekhaya (EP)
- 2018 – Libraries Without Boundaries, Vol. 1
- 2019 – Bayashiselwa
- 2020 – UP the Ladder
Sandie, as she is popularly known in show business, was set to feature as Siphetho in Cont Mhlanga‘s drama called The Nyaminyami. She plays the part of a wife of a farm manager, played by Thulani Mbambo. Mhlanga said he was surprised and impressed by the mother of two’s performances during the auditions.
- Best Female Dancer (NAMA)
- Best Urban grooves female Artist (ZIMA)
- Nominee Best Live Band Act
- Director and Executive Producer for Intombi Zomqangala
- Best Female Artiste Award at the 2003 National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA)
- Best Carnival Award at all her appearances at the Harare International Carnival
- Bulawayo Arts Awards winner
- Best International Act (UMFAZI) at the National Student Drama Festival in England 2012.
- Best Jury Production at the Atlantic Fringe Festival 2012.
Sandra provides a wide range of traditional Ndebele mastery in the art of beadwork. Traditional beaded garments include Necklaces, bracelets, imisisi (traditional skirts) and even bras are available in the form of beads. She is also an aspiring fashion guru, bringing in the latest fashion trends for resale in Zimbabwe.
In 2011, Sandra’s star-studded wedding held at the Nesbitt Castle was illuminated by South African diva Nani Ntengo, who together with Platform One had the crowd up on its feet and dancing for the “makhoti”. She wedded Nkanyiso Mbusi Sibindi, a lawyer based in the United Kingdom. Sources say the two met in 2000 when Ndebele was still a rookie trying to make a name for herself. A few years later Sibindi went to live and work in the United Kingdom. Those who know Sibindi said he was a very private person who kept to himself and a man of sober habits. The couple had a two-year-old son named Nkanyiso Junior by the time of the wedding and seemed their family was already expanding with baby number two on the way — one could not ignore the bulge on Sandra’s wedding gown.
Entertainment was provided by the group that gave Sandra a name — Iyasa — and the director of Iyasa was also given a platform to tell the guests how he got to know Sandra and her exploits in the arts. There was an interesting song done by an SDA acapella group that spoke of the bride being theirs and that they did not want to see her at nightspots. Does this mean the end of Sandra’s music career? The likes of Sobuza Gula-Ndebele, Jeys Marabini, Lorraine Tsoanele Maphala, Sibusisiwe Dube, Sipho Mazibuko, Sarah Mpofu – Sibandaand a lot more social butterflies made up part of the guest list.
It was her unique style of dancing that saw her rise to stardom and was arguably one of the best artistes in the country. However, her dance style soon earned her all sorts of names and was described as loose and likened her act to a sign of moral decadence.