Odyssey of an African Opera Singer


Author:        Musa Ngqungwana

Publisher:    Penguin Books

ISBN :            978-1-77609-297-0

Reviewer:    Dawn Gould

After reading this engaging book of the details of the life of a young man from the Zwide township, Port Elizabeth, one is aware of his strong determination to find a better life for himself.  As he explains his impoverished background it is obvious that life certainly did not make it an easy road forward. On page ix he states: ” South Africa’s musical traditions are rich, particularly its choral traditions.” Slowly, very slowly his involvement in choral singing led his way towards opera singing. We learn of how he was accepted at the University of Cape Town’s Opera School which would later lead to BMus Honours.  Shortly thereafter his future career moved overseas and began with further intense work.

Musa Ngqungwana is very appreciative of every person who helped and aided him.  His love of his grandmother who brought him up shines through the pages. For those who greatly enjoy the music and singing of opera the author’s book leads away from listening sitting in comfortable chairs to behind the scenes of sheer hard work and the ups and downs of his world.  We  wish Musa a long and successful career.