Nomsa does it her way

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Sunday World - - Hola Mzansi - Cupid s Crooked Bow. Nguwe

NOMSA Mazwai s per­son­al­ity is an

’ ex­otic cock­tail of cre­ativ­ity, which sets her apart from sis­ters Than­diswa and Nt­siki.

Pub­lished au­thor, and Soweto Theatre s new gen­eral man­ager

’ and a renowned poet and singer, she sure does wear many hats.

Nomisu­pasta, as she is known, wel­comes the Sun­day World team to her of­fice at the iconic Soweto arena in Jab­u­lani with a bright smile, and she is dressed to im­press.

She is wear­ing a clas­sic pur­ple dress funked up by black All Star sneak­ers.

As the new gen­eral man­ager of the theatre, Mazwai s of­fice hints at

’ her artis­tic in­ter­ests as soon as you step through the door. Her white desk­top stands on a black vin­tage ta­ble com­ple­mented by pure

– white walls. She s been here for the last four

’ months.

Un­like her rather se­ri­ous el­der sis­ters, Nomsa is quite an­i­mated.

She cred­its her fa­ther Thami Mazwai, who was a jour­nal­ist, for in­spir­ing her to write about her ex­pe­ri­ences. We were raised by a sin­gle “fa­ther, and he al­ways en­cour­aged us to speak our minds... hence the love for the spo­ken word,” she says.

She ex­plains that her mom died giv­ing birth to their brother. I don t

“’ re­mem­ber much be­cause I was very young when she passed away.”

At the age of nine, the bub­bly poet, moved to Mthatha in East­ern Cape to live with her aunt Nomsa, af­ter whom she was named. She missed the Jozi vibe... and the com­forts she had taken for granted. I didn t un­der­stand why peo­ple “’ lived with­out elec­tric­ity, and walk long dis­tances for wa­ter. It s

’ some­thing I couldn t get used to for

’ all the time I stayed there. But the love of my aunt was com­fort­ing; she treated me like her own daugh­ter.”

Her fa­ther later moved her back to Jozi to com­plete her ma­tric. In high school I be­came more “in­volved in school plays and I was al­ways the funny girl that would make ev­ery­body laugh in class.”

Af­ter com­plet­ing her ma­tric in the sub­urbs of Joburg, a cu­ri­ous Nomsa re­turned to East­ern Cape to study eco­nom­ics at the Univer­sity of Fort Hare. I was in­spired by “Thabo Mbeki and Nkosazana DlaminiZuma.”

Upon grad­u­at­ing, she went to Ford­ham Univer­sity in New York to com­plete a masters de­gree. Study­ing “abroad was great but there is no place like home. I pur­sued my love for arts and started paint­ing and rap­ping and singing,” she says.

Asked if run­ning the Soweto Theatre steals time from her cre­ative pas­sion, the colour­ful muso says it s all in her God-given

’ tal­ents. The one thing I am eter­nally “grate­ful for is my sis­ters

’ un­con­di­tional love and sup­port; that s how a lot of things are

’ pos­si­ble. Plus I sur­round my­self with “A-lis­ters, peo­ple that are pas­sion­ate about what they are do­ing and want to shine. My team here at the theatre is “awe­some, ev­ery­body brings their A game, we want to al­ways hook up the best shows ever. The one thing I got rid of when I “started as gen­eral man­ager, was that we don t try to

’ out­class each other; ev­ery­one is equal, no per­son is bet­ter than the other.

” She says she took up the job to in­spire kids like her­self that any­thing is pos­si­ble. From the

“mo­ment you step through doors, we would like peo­ple to see that noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble.”

Her mu­sic ca­reer con­tin­ues. Re­cently she fea­tured in Ghana­ian rap­per Man­i­fest s song

’ ti­tled

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( )* + ( ## , # - . ( - ( % , The song is about a “ly­ing bae; you know guys tell un­nec­es­sary lies, and some­time you gotta be like why mara guy,” she says with a gig­gle. That track is “some­thing ev­ery girl would re­late to.”

She says she would like to get mar­ried in the fu­ture, when the

“time is right.”

The hit song from her self-ti­tled al­bum is mak­ing waves. She cred­its her team for work­ing tire­lessly, and drop­ping it off at ra­dio sta­tions. Al­though ma­jor ra­dio “sta­tions are quite bi­ased to new mu­sic, I get lots of love af­ter ev­ery per­for­mance with peo­ple want­ing to buy my al­bum,” she says.

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