Chatting to New Germany’s ‘Pavarotti’

2017-05-16 06:01
PHOTO: SUPPLIEDRobbies Mowers and Pool owner John Button.

PHOTO: SUPPLIEDRobbies Mowers and Pool owner John Button.

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Nosipho.Mkhize@media24.com

“PINETOWN Fever” journalist Nosipho Mkhize chatted to New Germany resident Zakhele Khumalo to get to know more about him .

NM: Tell me a bit about Zakhele.

ZK: I’m originally from Zululand KwaNongoma, and grew up in Ezimbokodweni with both my parents who are both dead. I spent my teenage life in a small suburb in New Germany where I currently live. I did my schooling at St Magdalena Boarding Primary School and matriculated from Ogwini Comprehensive Technical College. I then furthered my studies at UKZN Howard College. I’m running an organisation that focuses on youth development in terms of talent, called KZN Top Model South Africa. I’m also a member of The Playhouse Opera Company.

NM: It’s not every day that a person comes across an opera singer, so tell me how you fell in love with opera.

ZK: My mother Carol loved music and sang in a choir. I used to sit with her and watch a programme called Sweet Melodies on TV back in the day. This was a choral music programme. I was young and I found myself falling in love with the music at the age of 10. I remember I was sort of imitating those musicians in the bathroom and my neighbour, Michael Mkhize, who was a very famous Bbaritone said to me, ‘young man you have a lovely voice I have to take you to my choir’, and that’s how I joined the Durban Serenade Choir in Umlazi.

I fell in love with the music in such a way that I even visited music libraries just to listen and enjoy the music.

Then I met a friend, now the last Robert Peterson, a music specialist who introduced me to opera.

NM: What does opera mean to you and what does this type of music require from an individual?

ZK: Opera means everything to me, the music is amazing to listen to without even understanding the words, it also teaches me to pay attention to detail that is how attractive it is. It demands your attention. It’s requires a lot of discipline, you have to watch what you eat or drink, exercise because it’s requires a lot of breath control.

NM: A lot of people do not understand opera, if you had to explain the whole concept in simple terms what would you say?

ZK: The music alone is beautiful to listen to without even understanding the words, it’s gives you good listening skills, in fact the youth should listen to classical opera music especially when they are doing their homework or preparing for exams because it’s helps you concentrate on whatever you are preparing for.

NM: Who trains you and how often do you train?

ZK: To be honest I have never been trained professionally on a one on one basis, I train myself by listening to the music. Occasionally I have rehearsals at The Playhouse every year, I do at least two productions a year and that requires lot of commitment.

NM: Are you into other types of music or you specifically an opera singer?

ZK: I do listen to classic jazz and pop music, such as Shirley Bassey, Judith Sephuma, Simphiwe Dana.

NM: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be an opera singer?

ZK: Anyone can sing opera, you only need to follow the steps. Be disciplined; watch what you eat or drink, breath control, support, project and sing. Imagine yourself as if you are telling a story when you sing. It’s becomes so easy.

NM: Have you performed in any local or international events?

ZK: I have performed at Civic Theatre in Roodeport and at Grahamstown Art Festival with Opera Africa with Popular South African Opera Singers.

I have also performed at Coca-Cola Long Service Awards in Durban.

I’ve done different productions at The Playhouse Opera Theatre namely The Messiah, Carmen, The Magic Flute, The Christmas Celebration,My Fair Lady, Ingqayingqayi with Mbongeni Ngema and I have been selected to sing a theme song for a local movie under the famous Wolf Films.  

PINETOWN Fever journalist Nosipho Mkhize chatted to New Germany resident Zakhele Khumalo just to know more about him and his music.

NM: Tell me a bit about Zakhele 

ZK: I’m originally from Zululand KwaNongoma, grew up in a place called Ezimbokodweni with both my Parents who are now late, spent my whole teenage life in a small suburb in New Germany where I’m currently residing! I did my schooling at St Magdalena Boarding Primary School and matriculated at Ogwini Comprehensive Technical College, I then further my studies at UKZN Howard College. I’m running an organisation focusing on the youth development in terms of Talent called KZN TOP MODEL South Africa. I’m a member of The Playhouse Opera Company.

NM: Its not every day where you come across an opera singer, so tell me how you fell in love with this type of music?

ZK:  My Mother Carol loved music and she used to sing in a choir. I used to sit with her and watch the program on TV which was calledSweet Melodies back in those years, this was a choral music program. I was very young and I found myself falling in love with the music at the age of 10. I remember I was sort of imitating those musicians in the bathroom and my neighbour Mr Michael Mkhize who was a very famous Baritone said to me “Young man you have a lovely voice I have to take you to my choir” and that’s how I joined the Durban Serenade Choir in Umlazi, I fell in love with the music in such a way that I even visited the music libraries just to listen and enjoy the music. During that time I met a friend who is now late Mr Robert Peterson who was a music specialis who introduced me to opera music

NM: What does opera mean to you? And what does this type of music require from an individual?

ZK: Opera means everything to me, the music is amazing to listen to without even understanding the words, it also teaches me to pay attention to detail that is how attractive it is, it demands your attention. It’s requires a lot of discipline, you have to watch what you eat or drink, exercise because it’s requires a lot of breath control.

NM: A lot of people do not understand opera, if you had to explain the whole concept in simple terms what would you say?

ZK:  The music alone is beautiful to listen to without even understanding the words, it’s gives you good listening skills, in fact the youth should listen to classical opera music especially when they are doing their homework or preparing for exam because it’s helps you concentrate in whatever that you are preparing for.

NM: Who trains you vocally and how often do you train?

ZK: To be honest I have never been trained professionally on a one on one basis, I train myself by listening to the music. Occasionally I have rehearsals at The Playhouse every year, I do at least two productions a year and that requires lot of commitment. 

NM: Are you into other types of music or you specifically an opera singer?

ZK: I do listen to classic jazz and pop music, such as Shirley Bassey, Judith Sephuma, Simphiwe Dana.

NM: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be an opera singer?

ZK:  Anyone can sing opera, you only need to follow the steps. Be disciplined; watch what you eat or drink, breath control, support, project and sing. Imagine yourself as if you are telling a story when you sing. It’s becomes so easy.

NM: Have you performed in any local or international events?

ZK: I have performed at Civic Theatre in Roodeport and at Grahamstown Art Festival with Opera Africa with Popular South African Opera Singers. I have also performed at Coca Cola long service awards in Durban. I’ve done different productions at The Playhouse Opera Theatre namely The Messiah, Carmen, The Magic Flute, The Christmas Celebration,My Fair Lady, Ingqayingqayi with the Famous Mbongeni Ngema and I have been selected to sing a thene song for a local movie under famous wolf films.

 

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