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Meet Nonhlanhla Yende | 100% Character Uncovered

What does it take to escape your past and rise up again?


Nonhlanhla Yende’s journey to become an opera singer has not been easy. Her path to success has been set against a backdrop of hardship and dark times that created a tide that could so easily have turned against her. But like all the characters we have had the privilege to show you, she persevered and got where she is today through dedication and sacrifice. She is now living the dream which she has so tirelessly fought for.


Ever since she was little girl singing was in her blood, and it was clear from an early age that she had a special singing voice. Her family were poor and whilst her single mom went out to work, she was raised by her grandma who helped develop her talent & love of singing. Nonie knew as she was growing up that she wanted to pursue it as a career but knew that it would be difficult to earn a living from it. In fact Nonie’s mom was adamant that she choose a more secure path and sent her to Pretoria to take up business studies, as she wanted her to have something more conventional and secure to make a life with.


Undeterred by her family’s advice Nonie continued to follow her passion and enrolled at Pretoria Technikon to study opera. Circumstance continued to conspire against her and due to financial hardship she had to withdraw from course. This devastated her, broke her heart and made it seem that her dream had all but died. But she fought on. She took up any job she could to get money and ended up washing peoples clothes to fund getting more opera training and experience.


Along the way she fell in love, got married and had a child. And when one day a golden opportunity came along for her to train with the Cape Town opera she knew she had to take the opportunity. Ultimately this meant that she has had to spend a lot of time apart from them living in a different city and ultimately sacrificing being with the people she loves. Today Nonie knows that she has well and truly earned the right to be where she is. As a well known, highly talented soprano for the Cape Town opera.