Tandiswa: Early years
“Music is my life; it is a reflection of what I go through” – Lenny Kravitz
She grew up in Kayamandi, one of the developing townships situated in Stellenbosch. The name means ‘nice home’, in the Xhosa language. Her dad was reverent in the township.
Since she was five years old, she sang in the church and Sunday school classes. Her whole family loves music. Her brother played the keyboard.
She started singing in the choir, Master Seed. This group of eight people enjoyed traditional dancing and Jazz. She loved this experience to be part of this choir. People hired them for functions. While singing a gospel song in this choir, somebody heard her voice, and she was invited to an audition for the Libertas Choir.
The day of the audition went terrible! At that time, Tandiswa could not read the musical notes. She could only listen to music, and her natural gift to interpret music enabled her to sing from her heart and voice.
Tandiswa was given a month to prove that she deserves her place in the choir. Needless to say, after this month, Johan de Villiers asked her to join the choir. At that time, she was eighteen years old.
“Some days, there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway” – Amory Austin
Tandiswa lost her fiance to lung cancer. It was a difficult time in her life. She felt weak, but music healed her. When she is performing today, she still sings for him. She cannot explain it, but she will find a song that can!
She was very young when she joined the Libertas Choir. In the beginning, it was a challenging experience for her. For example, when she had to join the choir on her first overseas trip, she could not afford it. But everybody looked after her. She did not pay anything for her ticket. She got a warm jacket against the snow which was expected on this trip. It is with warm memories that she is looking back at that time. Since then, she joined the choir on five overseas trips.
Working at Middelvlei Wine Estate.
“Teamwork makes the dream work” – unknown
On the outskirts of Stellenbosch, a winding cobblestone driveway leads the visitor to Middelvlei Wine Estate, with its real, rustic South African vibe. The Estate has been the home of the Momberg family since 1919. On this Estate many visitors enjoy a traditional South African ‘boerebraai’ and good wine.
Two years ago, Tandiswa told her friend Wanda that she desperately needs a job. She was stressed, she had a seventeen-year-old boy and an eight-year-old daughter. Wanda sent a message to Jeanerette Momberg. ( CEO of Visit Stellenbosch and wife of Ben Momberg). Tandiswa waited and prayed for this job. She got it, and today she feels blessed and happy to work here. She experiences that teamwork on the Estate makes the dream work!
During functions and birthdays on the Estate, tourists and local visitors can hear Tandiswa’s golden voice. She loves her Zulu attire dress. The rainbow nation’s colours make her proud. She doesn’t only sings, she performs, and she loves it. She is a little bit like Tinkerbell, and she needs applause to live!
” I believe in music the way that some people believe in fairytales” – August Rush
She also dreams about the day that she can make her album and to sing on TV. She believes in singing; you can bring hope to people to never give up on their dreams.
In her own words, she describes herself as ” a simple, bubbly lady”. She believes that you must never give up on your dreams. You must keep on trusting God and have Faith because He will answer you in His own time.
We salute you Tandiswa! You walk and sing in Faith. You make this world a better place, and you grace us with your voice and your positive outlook towards Life!
The choir was established in April 1989, to engender a new spirit of trust in a country with historically divided communities. Since 1989, Johan de Villiers has been the conductor and together with his wife, Louwina, as manager of the choir, the Libertas Choir has performed on world-renowned stages.