I was born to sing: Nkosi kaNdlovu

Published: 21 November 2014 | by Thulani Nkala

Mr Nkosi ka Ndlovu (NkN) born as Nkohliso Ndlovu, has a tight and busy schedule, it took Thulani Nkala-(TN) a great deal of time to pin him down to conduct this interview. Mr Ndlovu is clearly totally dedicated in his musical career and more so emotionally and physically focused on delivering a scintillating performance on the 3rd November. His rehearsals are torturous, their frequency and duration is unbelievable. Since my last article on Mr Ndlovu, I have received many enquiries and requests from the people, who claim not to know Mr Ndlovu, this has led me to conduct this interview so that the man speaks for himself.


Today I have managed to catch up with him in-between his tight schedule, he is wearing a khaki shirt, khaki trousers, brown shoes of high quality; and he is cleanly shaven. What strikes me the most is his humble yet magical posture which exudes of confidence and he clearly has a presence just like when he is on stage, where he wholly owns the stage. Mr Ndlovu is softly spoken but has a sophisticated smile. We greet each other and exchange all the necessary pleasantries. I am itching to start the interview as I know that he is busy and he has given me only 20 minutes of his time to conduct this interview, but Mr Ndlovu, is a laid back person, he talks about his family, his work, weather and all other seemingly irrelevant issues, but I realise that he has a sharp and alert mind and he is keen on detail. I was tempted to go with the flow and ignore all the questions which were running in my head; however, I managed to defeat the unscientific thinking and got down to business.


TH: Taking a historical perspective, what two factors greatly influenced you, either in your musical career or as a man you are today, you may wish to focus on both negative and positive factors?


NKN: There are many things which have had an impact on my life, since you have asked for two; I am tempted not to go beyond that. My greatest inspiration is my father, the man who taught me everything I know. I have heard many people who know my father and who have been lucky to hear me sing comparing me to my father. That gives me a great feeling, you know there is nothing spiritually uplifting than to know that you are the  "chip of the old block".


Let me move to my second reason, I have come to realise that of late, Zimbabweans, have been so much into music from either South Africa or the eastern part of our country yet even the western part of the country has equally talented people.

I feel that this is a call from God and I had to respond and add another voice in Zimbabwean music, especially gospel. No disrespect to my fellow colleagues in music, I love and cherish what they are doing but I believe there was a need for another voice in gospel music.


TN: When did your musical journey begin and what power do you think music yields? Do you think music serves any purpose in people's lives or in your own life?


NkN: Music of Ithole LeNdlovu (The Elephant) as I am affectionately referred to by my followers, back dates to my early teenage years. I remember being one of the youngest members of the Zidulini School choir where despite being male I was made to sing soprano due to my age. I sincerely believe that music is a strong medium of communication, you can positively or negatively influence people through music hence the need for artists to use good lyrics in their songs. When I want to reconnect to the source of my life- God, I do so meditatively through music, by so doing I believe I have become a better person and God's instrument in helping others.


TN: How would you describe yourself? What makes you tick, your aspirations, desires, fears and vision?


NkN: I am an open-minded, fun-loving person, my desires and aspirations are to do my best in everything I do; and to develop other people and help them realise their dreams. This is evidenced by my work with other young musicians as well as spearheading the development work with my former school Zidulini. My vision is to see Zidulini school re-built and kids being able to realise their dreams, I grew up there and I know the potential which that place has.


I work hard, I fear and hate failure. Whatever one does, I believe it has to be done very well or you just don't it. My life revolves around God, my family and my music. When I'm working on a song, I just switch off; I only remember that I'm hungry at the end of a rehearsal. Music is my life, I live music, and it is my second nature.


TN: Currently what do you do, professional-wise and how do you write your songs?


NkN: I don't dream songs no, thoughts just come to me either after reading the bible or listening to somebody preach or just reflecting on people's experiences, then I write a song. Besides my music, I work full time as a nurse. It's a job that I like very much, you know seeing people get well, what more can one ask for and I have since come to realise that music and nursing have something in common, that is, the healing attributes.


TN: Tell us a bit about your musical journey since you started being a recording artist, challenges you have faced, highs and lows of the journey?


NkN: I continue to face so many challenges in my musical journey; it is still a raw journey, a work in progress, ranging from getting talented and committed people to work with to even getting people to believe in what I am doing. Sometimes we have suffered huge financial loses but when you are doing something that you strongly believe in, all else becomes secondary.


TN: Lastly but not least, last year your DVD and CD launch concert was sold out, have you had any feedback as to what people thought about the concert, how it went? What are you promising your fans this year on the 3rd November 2012?


Nk: Oh yeah! Year 2011 was really our year of blessings, we had a concert in West Bromwich on November 5 and it was humbling to hear the MC announce that the concert was sold out 30 minutes into the show. There is nothing special that I and my team did to achieve this, God had just decided to have us see His favour.


I assure the followers of my music a show to remember, please come in full force as I and my band The Experience are working hard to give out yet another evening to remember. As a human being I am aware of people's expectations and as we plan for our November 3rd concert, and God willing all their expectations shall be met, satisfaction is guaranteed.

TN: Do you have any words for any one embarking on or contemplating on starting a musical career?


NkN: If you have an inspiration to sing, write a book or whatever, just do it, don't let anyone pull you down with their negative comments, you have the keys to your dream, remember they will first ignore you, laugh at you, then fight you and then you finally win.


TN: Thank you Mr Ndlovu for taking time to talk to me.


NkN: Thank you Mr Nkala, one more last thing, I also invite you to the concert.


TN: Hahaha, I promise I will be there.

Catch Nkosi Ka Ndlovu live in Birmingham on the 3rd November 2012.


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