Dembe may be autistic, but she has the voice of an angel

Date:11 April 2021 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho

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The South African music industry is abuzz with the wondrous singing talent of 21-year-old Dembe Angel Ndou, who has just released her first single track, titled Fhulufhelo.

Dembe, which means ‘miracle’, is originally from Tshikuwi village in Nzhelele, though currently based at Daveyton in Gauteng. She was diagnosed with autism at the age of four and the wonder around her talent is that she cannot talk but sings like a nightingale. Music is therefore her means of communication, and she uses this gift to the maximum.

This walking angel does not only sing but is a self-taught keyboard player. “The doctor advised us to buy her a ball, so that she could train her hands and fingers to be strong,” Dembe’s father, Maanda Ndou, told the media. “I then decided to buy her a portable keyboard, thinking it would require all her fingers to be active. That’s how she started playing it and expressing herself through singing.”

She started playing the keyboard at the age of 11. She would listen to songs on the TV and play along. Soon, she had mastered the skill and started composing her own authentic sounds. “We were completely amazed by how she had so quickly taught herself to play the keyboard,” Ndou said. She always sang along to music on her cellphone while playing the tunes on her keyboard.

Dembe, who has been singing since 2009, had knocked on many different doors to get her music professionally recorded, without any success. “We felt she needed to explore her talent, but she was met by one disappointment after the other,” her father said.

Rendani Ndou, Dembe’s mother, told the media that she was the happiest parent alive to have Dembe as her daughter. “As Dembe grew up, right from childhood, it was very challenging for us as parents because it was difficult to understand her, as she could not talk,” she said. “We defeated the stigma by accepting her situation that she was born different from other children. From that point on, we have been living in immense joy and happiness.”

Her first song, Fhulufhelo, was written by her father and recorded at Masana Records under the helm of the experienced music maker, Deejay Davic. Davic also played the role of producer.

Fhulufhelo refers to the belief that our only hope is in Jesus Christ and that, with Him, all things are possible,” Ndou said. “Dembe is indeed a living testimony.”

Ndou said that they were very proud of Dembe’s gifts. “We believe the best is yet to come. We are busy raising funds to finish the whole album (CD),” he said. “Whoever wishes to be a part of this good work of God financially is more than welcome to do so.”

Fhulufhelo is already available at most online stores.

Dembe’s father, Maanda Ndou, can be reached at 084 414 7407. Dembe can be followed on Facebook (Dembe Angel Ndou) and her music sampled on .



Dembe Angel Ndou released her first single track, titled Fhulufhelo. Photo supplied.


By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho

Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.