Strandfontein-raised but Angolan-born Adilson Manuel Ndala, known as DaFaith in hip hop and Afro pop circles, is ready to unveil his second album, which he says bears testimony to his faith and hopes.
Recounting his life’s story, DaFaith, who is now living in Westridge, said when he settled in Mitchell’s Plain with relatives as a 10-year-old it was with the understanding that he would go to school and have a better life than his mother could give him in Angola. However, things did not work out that way and instead of attending school himself, the young boy was saddled with doing chores at home and the closest he got to school was walking a younger cousin to and from school every day. The boys had an arrangement that the cousin would revise primary school work with DaFaith en route to school and during the walk back home, he would teach DaFaith something new.
He said eventually he couldn’t take it anymore and he ran away to sleep on the streets of Muizenberg, often finding his way back to Strandfontein.
DaFaith said even when living on the streets he never had an inclination to use drugs or alcohol to keep warm or escape the harsh reality of being homeless.
At age 15 he took shelter at Camp Joy, in Camp Road, Strandfontein, where he was helped to get in at Cedar High School, an arts-focused school in Rocklands. “The community of Strandfontein took care of me and ensured that I attended school,” he said.
With the help of his school friends he was introduced to church, which he enjoyed attending.
“Music is the one beautiful thing that came from my life. I could have been worse off. There was always this force keeping me intact. I had to stay positive. I had the courage to not try these things. My peers thought I was weird but I had hope for me to do more – to be more,” he said.
DaFaith said his life’s journey had crazy and inspiring moments.
“Humans are very resilient but only when we have hope. Religion is not the solution. We find the solution in each other. With God’s protection I am able to tell a story to those who are afraid. I do not know everything but we must be open to engage with people, with each other,” he said.
DaFaith said many youth become so desperate to want to have material things or feel better, which were what gangsters offered them. He said there are moments in life in which we can and should see the good in other people.
“We can make a difference in each other’s lives,” he said.
DaFaith writes his own songs and pays producers to help “panel beat” his tracks, which are playlisted on most radio stations. His first album Stages of my life, released in 2017, took three years of mixing, mastering, producing and recording. He sold about 2 000 copies.
DaFaith, who is married and has a 3-year-old daughter, has a day job and uses his spare money to record his albums.
“They say that music is the language of the soul, and nothing could be truer for me,” he said.
DaFaith performs as master of ceremonies (MC) at events, does motivational speaking in addition to doing live gigs. He said his life story is told in hip-hop, rhythm and blues, soul, pop and urban gospel.
A competition he won in 2015 allowed him to travel to Namibia and do a tour. He was also placed third in the Heal the Hood competition in the Trinity Festival in the USA and has opened for the likes of music stars such as Jimmy Nevis and YoungstaCPT, as well as international acts such as Flame, 116Clique and Datruth.
His debut music video for the song BoomBadaBoom reached number 11 on Channel O’s Top 20 last year and the video has more than a 100 000 views on Facebook. In late February he released his new music video Whind, which was playlisted on Trace, MTV and Channel O.
DaFaith’s latest album Thesis will be publicly released at 5 Hudson Close, Portland, on Wednesday May 15, at 3pm. Call DaFaith on 083 642 0103 for details.