Making it to the top at such a young age hasn’t been too jarring for Zee Nxumalo, a talented young muso who is making a name for herself in the local music and entertainment industry (having worked with Mlindo The Vocalist). In our recent chat with her, Zee spoke about the value of hard work in setting you apart from everyone else – and set apart from others she is indeed.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Zandile Nxumalo and I'm 19 years old. I’m a singer and a songwriter. I’m a musician, or an entertainer. I'm originally from Eswatini but I’m more of a Jozi baby as most of my early years were spent in Johannesburg.

Being as young as you are, are there any challenges that you've faced in the industry so far?
When you attack life at such a young age, you have ambition and you're hoping that things will go your way until you actually get the experience that life doesn’t quite work that way. I think one of the things that I had to learn is that sometimes you have to be patient for some things; no matter how talented you are, you just have to be patient. And also, hard work pays off. Well, it hasn't really fully paid off for me but I can see the rewards of working hard.

You have a single that came out recently, called Hamba, do you mind telling us more a little bit about it?
Hamba is about a girl that tells her boyfriend, go but I know you’ll be back, because of the treatment she received, it felt like the love wasn’t being reciprocated. And then yeah, she tells the guy that go, but one day you’ll be back.

Who are some of the artists that you would love to work with in future?
I think for the longest time, I've always said I wanted to work with Mlindo The Vocalist, and now that I’ve worked with him, I think I’d like to work with DJ Tira.

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Would you say that DJ Tira is your biggest inspiration or are there other people that inspire you?
In terms of work ethic and longevity in the game, I think yeah. DJ Tira is the pioneer of South African dance music. But my biggest musical inspirations are Mlindo The Vocalist and Kelly Khumalo.

What would you say are two things that people don't know about you?
I think the fact that I'm shy. Certain people have realised that I’m shy, because on social media I’m this social butterfly, but then in real life I can be the opposite. The second one is that I prefer my space, I like being alone – to think and just enjoy my own company.

What do you do to take a break from everything and just relax?
I go back home. I find it so therapeutic. I go back home and spend time with my mom and my dad, and we just live our ordinary lives.

What are some of your plans for the rest of the year and beyond?
Right now, we are pushing Hamba, which is really doing well, and of course Amaphupho, which has over 80 000 views on YouTube. I've also got a big project coming out soon that I think people should really anticipate. I haven't announced the name yet, but I will soon.

What message do you have for young people like yourself, who have big dreams to be in the entertainment industry?
This one is specifically dedicated to that someone who thinks, “I’m talented and I'm going to make it”. Sometimes talent alone is not enough and I’ve had to learn that along the way. Sometimes you just have to work hard.

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HARD WORK PAYS OFF: ZEE NXUMALO HARD WORK PAYS OFF: ZEE NXUMALO Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on July 06, 2022 Rating: 5
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