Interview With Nandi Mngoma
This year my focus is on nurturing my interviewing skills. Who knows? – It might be on the same league yabo Kiki, Zamani and Percy very soon. I then decided to hook up with the 24 year old Durbanite Nandi Mngoma.
Nandi is such an amazing young girl who knows what she wants and is bringing a different feel to the entertainment industry. I fell in love with her personality and realised we have a lot in common. Here’s how the interview went down.
Lebza: How was it like growing up in Durban?
Nandi: I am not your stereotypical Durbanite because I am not into partying. But growing up in Durban was awesome and I lived by the beach, beautiful background I tell you. I also come from a good academic background, my dad is a doctor and my mom is a lawyer.
Lebza: Oh that’s so cool, how has that influenced you though?
Nandi: It influenced me a lot in terms of discipline but I’m not as disciplined as my parents.
Lebza: So were you born and bred in Durbs?
Nandi: No, my roots are in Maphumula in KZN. I have a very rural background, I love trees, and I love organic things.
Lebza: How was Nandi as a young girl?
Nandi: Eish lol I was so boring because I am exactly the same person now and I was and still a good kid. I always say my favourite award I ever received in my whole life was Good fellowship. You know what it means right?
Lebza: *embarrassed* No, what does it mean?
Nandi: It means everyone liked you, and I got it in Primary and High school. For me that was the best. As a young girl, I have always loved the arts. I did ballet, hip hop dancing and singing. I also did modelling and pageants.
Lebza: So what was your big break in entertainment?
Nandi: I would say presenting a kiddies show at the age of 15. It was produced by Okuhle media, best production company any kid would wanna work with because they take care of you and I travelled a lot. Besides that, I lived a normal life like any other kid. Oh and I didn’t have a boyfriend in high school and then yah *covers eyes*
Lebza: Lol and then what? Khuluma sweery
Nandi: hahahaha Eish I wasn’t supposed to say that but anyway. You grow up and then you find your “best friend” and I have a best friend. Mmh I am not saying anything more. We have been best friends for six years now.
Lebza: Hehehe ok best friend, so how did studying law come about?
Nandi: Because I have always wanted to do something in media, oh and my first option was journalism.
Lebza: Bathong Nandi o maaka
Nandi: Hahaha hai for real wena. I remember in Grade 10 I was like I want to study Journalism, what I’ve always wanted. I will never forget the guy who came during career exhibition and he was like “there is no money in this and I don’t know what you guys are still doing here”
Lebza: You are lucky, I was told that in my 2nd year of studying but I guess when you are passionate about something you sometimes don’t care
Nandi: Can I tell you? I was so destroyed because journalism for me was that ultimate dream. I then did my research and spoke to my mom, so the only similar thing I could find was Law. I’m interested in Media law- corporate, criminal nah not my thing. Now I think I’m kinda interested in Environmental Law, weird I know don’t even ask. In terms of media law, I wanted to protect other people, companies and most importantly myself.
Lebza: That is so smart of you, where did you do your Law?
Nandi: I started in UKZN then ended at Varsity College because I added more electives. Next year I want to do my legal practice and articles. For now it’s freelance corporate life and entertainment.
Lebza: So when did you officially move to JHB?
Nandi: I have always been up and down in JHB since the age of 15 but I moved on a permanent basis last year. I am not sure if I want to stay in JHB forever, I really appreciate the quiet life. If it wasn’t for the race issues in Western Cape, I would move to Cape Town. I am not sure if JHB will be forever but you can’t choose where you want to be sometimes.
Lebza: So what are you currently up to in terms of entertainment?
Nandi: I’m in studio busy recording at the moment; we did 3 songs so far. I don’t wanna give away too much at this stage. The sound is going to have some Jamiroquai sound mixed with Black Coffee, Zakes and them. Plus I’m from Durban so the dance feel music is part of me. The best thing about being from KZN is that you always get support from them and a lot of radio stations like Ukhozi FM, Igagasi FM and other community radio stations have been banging to “Tonight”.
Lebza: Talking about “Tonight”, how did you becoming a vocalist on that song come about?
Nandi: Oh ya, a lot of people know that I write and produce and I also play a piano. So I never knew Franky neh? I knew Sipho who writes for a lot of artists like Liquid deep, Lulo Cafe. He’s the guy who wrote the Lulo Cafe ft Nothende song, he is a very good producer. I wasn’t supposed to be the original vocalist, she just didn’t pitch that day and at that time I was chilling in studio busy writing. Sipho was like Franky, here’s your vocalist and she can sing. Then the rest is history.
Lebza: Nice, talk about being at the right place and right time. And when can we expect your album?
Nandi: July or August. I think it’s always a good time to release your album towards December. Like Last year, abo Zahara, Micasa released around that time because people are already in some holiday spirit.
Lebza: Rumour has it that you have a TV show coming up?
Nandi: Actually two TV shows but I can only speak about the one that will air next month. I will be doing a music show called “AfterParty” that is replacing Music Lounge. It is a good thing that it plays in midnight when people are sleeping because it is sort of like my training and nurture my skills. Later on the year, my second TV show will be on a prime time slot and I’m quite excited about it.
Lebza: Well done, I’m looking forward to it. I noticed that you have a unique style, can you please school me?
Nandi: Lol thank you. I’m not your weave girl; don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with weaves. I love weaves on girls but I am not that girl. I want to be myself and I would appreciate it if people respect that
Lebza: So you have never put on a weave vele?
Nandi: Yho I did in Grade 10 actually but we used to call them bonding.
Lebza: Grade 10? Tjo liker of things
Nandi: Hahaha and Minnie is the one who actually introduced me to weaves. She went to L.A when she was in Primary and she was like people there wear these cool weaves. She then bought herself the weaves and she would always flick it, name I bought myself one.
Lebza: Hai nina benithanda izinto shem. So who inspires you in life?
Nandi: Noni Gasa inspires me when it comes to fashion, Nkhensani Nkosi for being able to re unite Africa in terms of fashion. Trevor Noah, Lira and Black Coffee as well because they represent beyond South Africa, that’s what inspires me a lot. I’m also inspired by gracious and humble people.
Lebza: During our conversations, I also noticed that you are a very spiritual person.
Nandi: I am but what I am very against is people who try to make themselves look better than thee at other people’s expense. I am a child of God like everyone else even though some don’t notice but its fine hehehe. I am a person who sins because God said we were born sinners but I’m also the kind of person who do good as well.
Lebza: Where do you see the Nandi brand in 3 years?
Nandi: I want to tour around the world and promote my music, I want to have a fashion website and own my own stuff. I hope one day I will have my own media company and Khanyi Dhlomo has influenced me a lot in terms of that.
Lebza: Khanyi is awesome, I love her. Thank you for your time and for the interview. Any last words?
Nandi: Okay not that I am preaching or judging but a lot of girls are compromising their morals to get into the industry. There are so many young beautiful girls who feel the need to open their legs to get ahead. One day you will die and we will bury you, there is nothing more beautiful than knowing that everything that you had was because of your hard work and it was not because of someone. Please don’t do it, no matter how long the process take, have your passion, your dreams. And I’m really not judging, I just wanted to say how I feel about this.