Faced with a choice between computer science and music, Mount Ayliff-born singer Olothando Ndamase took a leap of faith and followed his passion.
In 2009 he left his rural home to study computer science at the University of Johannesburg. Two years into his studies, he called it quits and followed his heart.
“Music has always been something in me. I had been writing songs during high school,” Ndamase said.
“It was a case of do I follow my passion or do I follow the norm and be miserable?”
Ever since, he’s been working hard making music that will entertain and inspire.
Last month Ndamase released his debut album, Mpumelelo Ndibize.
The 25-year-old started his music career in 2010 with fellow band member Xolisa Sigwabe.
The two acoustic soul musicians performed around the country with various artists, opening for outfits like Ringo Madlingozi and Sliq Angel.
However, after two years of making music together, the two decided to part ways. “I wanted experience with more sounds and leaving the group gave me that freedom. I was able to be myself; I did not need to try to please a partner and I wasn’t confined to one genre,” he said.
In 2013, Ndamase turned down an opportunity to record his music.
“I was not happy with the record deal and I decided to wait for something that I would be comfortable with,” he said.
While in search of a good record deal, Ndamase’s family started worrying about his future.
“They were questioning my decision and would ask me to go back to school to finish my degree. I think it’s knowing that I am a smart kid that made them push me into finishing it,” he said.
“I know for a fact I would have been miserable in that job but I understand why my family wanted me to follow that path.
“I was raised by a single parent and she wanted the best for me,” he said.
Ndamase’s writing skills saw him co-writing two songs in Vusi Nova’s latest award-winning self-titled album.
Ndamase said he would be launching his album at Winnie’s Jazz Restaurant in Johannesburg this week.
“I will also be doing a live streaming at YFM on July 7. I am currently rehearsing with my band for the two events,” he said, adding that he was planning a national tour later in the year.
His album is available at Musica stores nationwide.