African MusicNews

Music found me: Nomfusi


Two-time SAMA nominee, Nomfusi says music makes her feel seen and heard.

Sara-Jayne Makwala King spoke to Nomfusi in her weekly feature of music artists.

She’s been nominated twice for the South African Music Awards (SAMA) and Nomfusi Ngonyama’s star continues to shine, both here and abroad.

But her life wasn’t always full of glitz and glamour.

Nomfusi says she grew up in an informal settlement in Gqeberha and was raised by a single mother, who later passed away of an HIV-related illness. Nomfusi and her sister became orphans.

But music remained a constant in her life.

If you grow up in the township, you will know that you are in a melting pot of music. Literally there’s gospel playing in one corner, there’s reggae playing somewhere and there’s Ma Brrr playing there. Because we were… in a small space, you are basically exposed to all that music.

Nomfusi, Musician

Nomfusi says music found her. And it was later when she moved to Cape Town to pursue her studies that it really took hold.

She took a job as a waitress to sustain herself. But it was performing for her patrons and earning big tips from this,
that she realised she could make a living doing what she loved.

I realised this must be my gift…it sustained me and I would be able to buy myself food at res, books…on top of this, I felt at home on stage, I felt heard, I felt I had voice, I felt seen and of course those things felt taken away because I was an orphan.

Nomfusi, Musician

With her talent and zest for life, Nomfusi will no doubt keep entertaining us with her soulful sounds.

Scroll up to listen to the audio.

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