Boichoko Qwabe better known as Choko, a talented woman born in Bloemfontein and currently resides in Johannesburg, she has always been actively involved in musical activities from a young age, in primary school and church. She obtained a Degree in B.Soc.Sc Human & Societal Dynamics from the University of the Free State, and that’s when she started writing songs and considering going solo. She released her first Afrosoul album “Lerato” in 2014. Ever since then, she has been going strong. The very album that saw her scooping a Golden Bean award in Best Female Artist category in 2014 and a SATMA Award in 2015.
Love, Life, Happiness & Choices – that’s what Choko music is all about. Choko brand is timeless, dynamic, elegant, trendy and sophisticated. She has shared the stage with the likes of Zonke, Stimela, The Muffins, Mi Casa, Vusi Mahlasela, Zahara, Chrisette Michele, Chante Savage and many others.
Choko’s new album, “Healing” will be released on July 16th, 2021 on all online streaming platforms. The 10-track album is a traditional rendition of hymns that are firmly rooted in God`s word, and soulfully interpreted in a way that only Choko would. ‘A true celebration of God`s healing power, and a personal testimony of how God can use painful events and even memories from the past as stepping stones to a better day, this is how Choko described this project.
”This route I took was inevitable. I knew that releasing a gospel album will happen whether early in my music career or later in life. Cliché as it may sound, I also started in church. I went to the studio many times wanting to sing hymns, and the people I worked with then didn’t understand my vision. ‘I was too young and wanting to do something they felt was too big for me to even attempt, I wanted to sing what I long to hear, “what takes me back home” said Choko.
Little did I know that, it would take the deep pain of me losing my Dad for me to go back to where I was supposed to have started.
I struggled with coming to terms with his passing. I was overwhelmed by emotion. Even angry at God that I didn’t feel protected or loved in the decision that he took in taking my dad so abruptly. There was really no time for preparation and that process made it hard to comprehend the emotional turmoil, shock, and trauma that came with his sudden passing.
When I spoke to my family and friends regarding my progress a few months after his passing, I told them that I’ve been praying to God to help me praise and worship him once again. I didn’t know how to worship him when he’s allowed something so painful to happen without preparing me enough.
Ironically, He took me back to the time when I started learning hymns, I remembered how my Sundays were like when I was around 6/7 years, sitting with my Grandfather and his Friend. Worshipping with them. Not only was I taken by how these two old men loved to see me learning these songs but in return I also learned the confidence to lead, and how to interpret them like they would. They had so much joy when they sang, almost like they could see what they were singing about. Then it didn’t make sense to me, it was just melodies, their facial expressions, body language and songs I enjoyed reciting, little did I know that God was planting a seed that would carry me at the time that I would need it the most.
So it is a privilege to go boldly with this message of healing, in a time such as this, when everybody is shaken by the indelible effects of the covid-19 pandemic. When we meet real tragedies’ in life, we can either lose hope and choose to fall into depressive modes or use those challenges to educate ourselves and those around us and hopefully share our experiences that could potentially help others who are stuck in the hurt.
Through this album and my testimony, I’m saying, it is time for restoration, and healing even in the midst of this staggering death tolls we wake up to daily. God is still sovereign, able to heal the broken-hearted and bandage their wounds. His word is full of healing power, and this season we are in will pass.