By: Nosipho Ntombela
Driven, smart, and weird is 29-year-old Ntathu Mbhele, who is known by many as “Sainty Baby”. Born and bred in the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, Sainty has been making waves in Durban for quite some time now as she hosts the annual Food Fashion Music events.
Sainty whose motto is only to work, started this event in 2012 as a way of “putting herself on the map”, alongside other talented creatives who fall under the food, fashion and music spectrum.
“EThekwini Municipality (Parks, Recreation and Culture) saw this initiative and started backing the Food, Fashion, and Music Concept for four consecutive years allowing me to give my peers a platform to showcase their talent, and earn money whilst doing what they love.
“We have shared the stage with established brands such as Bonang Matheba, Monique Bingham, J’Something, Scoop Makhathini, Frypan Mfula, Riky Rick, Nasty C and DJ Lag, just to mention a few,” explained Sainty.
The facts about Sainty’s career is that Louie Austen’s ‘Hoping’ made her fall in love with House music, and her love for being a DJ started while she was enjoying her matric dance’s after party. Sainty says it was the way the DJ moved the crowd that intrigued her and she knew then it was something she had to learn how to do.
“I started out in my hometown and up until then I have been booked as far as Cape Town for Head Honcho’s StayFresh event. Back at home I am entertaining at Durban’s annual Zakifo Festival,” explained Sainty.
One of her biggest achievements was being featured on Channel O’s ‘Celebrity Bassment’ between 2009 and 2014. Before all this, Saint was a traffic officer by day and DJ by night. In 2015 she pursued her dreams of being a producer by quitting work and enrolling at the Soul Candi Institute of Music. Sainty worked part-time at Vuma FM as a content producer, Co Host and resident mix DJ. It was after graduating when she collaborated with the Distruction Boyz, and they encouraged her to be more than just a DJ and producer.
Her debut project Slept On dropped on the 13th of July on all digital music stores, and has more than 12 000 streams on Apple Music.
Speaking about her day to day Challenges, Sainty said that the main challenge is getting bookings.
“As an upcoming artist it’s not easy to get bookings. A great idea is to start your own thing, which is also a challenge of its own as other resources may be hard to get,”said Sainty.
Advising his fellow artists Sainty said: “I would like artists to take it into consideration and start at a small scale, preferably free shows in the beginning. Make a record of everything you do and most importantly, have footage and pictures taken at your events. Create a social media account for it, and grow your followers by following other people as well as interacting with them online.”
Currently Sainty is working with her brother Langalethu. She refers to him as her best friend, producer, DJ, photographer and Master Engineer. They are busy working on Sainty’s debut album and Langalethu is the master behind the beats. Sainty says her brother always has the perfect beat for whichever story she is trying to tell at that particular time. He truly is a “gem” in Sainty’s words.
As we celebrate women’s month, Sainty has advice women out there to Work, Work, and Work.
“Keep your head down and work. Start something today. Learn to create a sanctuary in your mind then take steps needed to make your dreams a reality. Let us support each other. We are living in such a scary time, which is not exactly ideal to a woman right now. So much has happened and happening, the last thing we need is scorn from each other. Let’s inspire, let’s create, and most importantly Let us share,” emphasised Sainty.