Nkosingiphile Zondi graduates in mixed farming and releases music album

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Nkosingiphile Zondi graduated with a BAgric Mixed Farming degree. In March, he also released his first music album, #Ngingohlakaniphile.

If you have ever browsed music on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music and came across the 15-track album, Ngingohlakaniphile, you would never have guessed that the young man on the cover – dressed in light colours of grey and white – has another passion: farming.

Nkosingiphile Zondi, hailing from a small rural area called Tugela Ferry in KwaZulu-Natal, graduated with a Bachelor of Agriculture, majoring in Mixed Farming Management, at the April graduation ceremonies of the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Zondi, his love for nature, animals, and their well-being motivated him to pursue a degree in mixed farming.

Two milestone events in one month

Zondi, who describes himself as open to new ideas, hardworking, and someone who values respect (something his parents taught him), says he is excited and grateful for achieving two milestones: obtaining his degree and releasing his first album, both within a month’s time (his album was released on 22 March 2024). “I have never been so happy in my life,” he remarks.

Regarding balancing farming and music in the future, he says it won’t be a problem because he managed to do both in the past few years. Dr Phumudzo Tharaga, Lecturer in Agrometeorology in the Department of Soil, Crop, and Climate Sciences, says that Zondi managed to graduate in record time while pursuing his music career. “This is a unique talent,” he comments.

He believes that his music will help people see life from a different perspective. “Life is not only about struggles. There’s also happiness after struggling. I hope that my music can heal people, ease the pain at times, and bring them happiness,” he says.

People to relate to the messages in his songs

On the other hand, he hopes that his music can generate income, which he believes will be helpful if he wants to own a farm. He looks forward to his music bringing him a better life.

Zondi describes his music as maskanda (traditional), representing the Zulu culture. “Those interested in the culture can gain something through this music. When I compose or write a song, I ensure that people can relate to the message being delivered,” he says, adding that his songs reflect people’s lives, often his own, as well as everyday occurrences.

He features as the lead guitarist and also handles vocals and composition. Zondi is accompanied by other musicians on bass guitar, keyboard, and concertina.