Singer, actor, TV presenter and hair icon Nandi Mngoma tells JACKIE MAY about her new album, her heritage and feeling comfortable in her skin
THERE CAN’T BE TOO MANY people who have haircuts named after them. But there sits Nandi Mngoma at a table at the co ee shop where we arranged to meet. She is wearing oversized sunglasses. On her petite face, the sunglasses make a glamorous fashion statement. She looks aloof, the glasses creating a mystery. What lies behind them?
s oin her, she takes them o and her charisma immediately wipes away any distance she may have created between herself and those around her. And, over the next hour, she lights up the room as she tells me about her life and art. Charmingly, the 28-year-old musician and entertainer seems as interested in me as I am in her.
Since she was 15, Nandi has been a television presenter on various shows; she played two characters in the Mzansi Magic soapie The Road; sang on hit songs like ‘Skhanda Love’ with KO and ‘Dance’, in collaboration with her mentor, music producer Zakes Bantwini. In 2013, she released the single ‘Good Times’, an upbeat, happy Afrocentric song. In the video, Nandi’s hair is natural and short; she wears David Tlale. At the time of the song’s release, she tells me, she had lost all her self-con dence and was struggling with her career, having just missed out on two plum presenter gigs on SABC shows. ‘I was devastated. I thought my life was over. “Good Times” was about being happy, and I was everything but happy,’ she says.