Avante – Yek’ Jerusalema: A Gospel Hit from South Africa
Avante is a South African gospel group that has been making music since the late 1990s. One of their most popular songs is Yek’ Jerusalema, which means “Let’s go to Jerusalem” in Zulu. The song is a praise and worship anthem that expresses the desire to be in the holy city of Jerusalem with God.
The song was released in 1999 as part of their album 10 Great Songs, which also features other hits such as Sinethemba and Qina. The song has been widely played on radio stations and TV channels in South Africa, and has also been covered by other artists such as Mandoza, Ringo and Pure Magic. The song has a catchy melody, uplifting lyrics and a powerful vocal performance by the group members.
The song can be listened to on YouTube or Shazam, where it has received thousands of views and shazams. The song is also available on Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming platforms. The song is a testament to the talent and faith of Avante, who have been spreading the gospel through their music for over two decades.
Avante was founded by Linda Gcwensa, a singer-songwriter from KwaMashu, north of Durban. He was inspired by the music of Mbongeni Ngema, a renowned South African musician and playwright, who discovered Avante in 1993 and helped them launch their career. Gcwensa was the main writer and producer of Avante’s songs, and also played keyboards and guitar. He was known for his distinctive voice and his passion for gospel music.
Avante consisted of four other members: Lucky Cele, James Langa, Bongani Ngcobo and Sphiwe Khanyile. They all came from different backgrounds and musical influences, but shared a common vision of spreading the gospel through their music. They sang in Zulu, English and other languages, and blended traditional and contemporary styles of gospel music. They also collaborated with other artists such as Rebecca Malope, Benjamin Dube, Sipho Makhabane and others.
Avante faced many challenges and tragedies throughout their career. They lost two of their members, Ngcobo and Khanyile, in 2004 and 2011 respectively, due to illness. They also struggled with financial difficulties, piracy and lack of support from the music industry. However, they never gave up on their music and their faith. They continued to release albums and perform live shows, and also engaged in social causes such as fighting against HIV/AIDS, poverty and crime.
Gcwensa passed away in 2019 at the age of 47, after suffering from kidney problems for years. He left behind a legacy of music that touched millions of people across South Africa and beyond. He was mourned by his family, friends, fans and fellow musicians. Cele and Langa are the only surviving members of Avante, and they have vowed to keep the group’s name alive and honor their fallen comrades.