Rising above the CHALLENGES Image Credit: Bona
Rising above the CHALLENGES Image Credit: Bona

Rising Above The Challenges

Afro-pop singer Ntandokayise Bangani, popularly known as Ntando, opens up about the hardships that made him stronger.

Fundiswa Nkwanyana

My Xhosa family taught me to be proud of my heritage. As a child, I grew up seeing elders wearing umbhaco (traditional regalia) with pride, and speaking their language unapologetically. They instilled in me a sense of pride and, when I saw other people drifting away from their culture and adopting western ways, I decided to create music that is proudly African. I’m happy that I am popular for singing in Xhosa.

I love creating timeless music. I’m inspired by musicians with songs that every generation can relate to. I look up to the late Bob Marley, Brenda Fassie and Marvin Gaye because even though they are no longer with us, their music lives on. I hope that my music also lasts forever. My first album Kwantu became an instant hit, and helped to grow my fan base. Hearing people singing songs that I released years ago such as Dali wam, Ngum’ntonjani and Uyakhumbula makes me happy.

I did not take a break from the industry; I’ve been making music and performing over the years. But, it wasn’t marketed properly, and so did not reach the target audience. I made bad business decisions that made it appear as if I was not making music. Being a famous musician and having eyes on you is not easy. The pressure can be crippling. But, I’m glad that because of this, I’m now a business-savvy musician who understands that talent alone is not enough to make it in this highly comp

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