Reviewed by Jonathan Just
For those of you who don’t know, Yanga Zweni (aka ‘Gruth’) is a young Christian rapper, singer and graphic designer originally from King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape.
On the 28th of February 2019, Gruth released his 9-track EP entitled ‘Sully’. You might be wondering: ‘Why the name ‘Sully’?’ At first I thought it might be somehow connected to the character of Jake Sully who is the main protagonist in James Cameron’s movie, Avatar (far from it!). But this is what Gruth had to say:
“Sully is basically taken from Romans chapter 3 where it says no-one is perfect, no-one seeks God, no-one wants God. The word ‘sully’ means damaged purity – just like us humans. Immediately after Adam and Eve sinned, our purity got damaged, so we come to this earth as these imperfect beings. So, Sully is basically about that – about not being perfect. But there is someone who is perfect. There is this perfect Being that can make us perfect.”
“I grew up in an environment where we thought Christians are perfect. And people would be amazed if they heard the Christian would do something wrong, or if they heard about a ‘fallen Christian’ it would be a huge thing. But Christians are exactly the same as other people. We are exactly the same. The difference is that our sins are forgiven. We all need help. Jesus came for the sick, not for the well. So, we are here as Christians who always go to God and say: ‘I need You! Strengthen me.’ Because we know this thing doesn’t come from us. It’s all God.”
In the fourth track on the EP, Sanballat, Gruth recalls an experience he had back home:
“Where I used to go to church, wearing formal clothes and looking all nice is something that was expected. We were expected to be like that as Christians. But I found that this thing was not working because other dudes from ekasi didn’t have formal clothes. So, it’s like now we are stumbling blocks to them and this whole thing of sharing the gospel is not working because they see us as these people who are rich. It all becomes a status thing. Sanballat is about me trying to break away from these religious patterns, trying to make a new pattern where it’s like: ‘Yes, Lord, I am a sinner. I am not perfect. I understand. Please help me.’ Instead of this pattern of like: ‘I can’t even get sick, I’m a child of God! Favour! Hahaha!’”
He has been part of the Living Legacy Movement since 2015, which is an exciting creative collective of Christian rappers/producers/designers/culture-influencers. One of the greatest things Gruth says he enjoys about the Living Legacy team is that they regard each other as more than simply colleagues, but as family. I, personally, find it refreshing to see a local Movement that is grounded in biblical truth, striving for creative excellence, and humbly trusting the Lord to raise up a new generation of Christ-followers.
The official launch of the Sully EP will be going down in Cape Town on the 22nd of March 2019 at Jubilee Community Church in Observatory. The show starts at 7pm with CDs and merchandise on sale. Be sure to mark your calendars for what will be a sensational night!
To purchase Sully or get tickets for the EP launch, go here.
Find out more about Living Legacy Movement here.