Based: Cape Town
Patience, resilience and determination are paying off for a Khayelitsha writer and recording artist. Like any child of the township, Linomtha’s life has been a rollercoaster ride.However, the Cofimvaba village-born singer has finally released her debut album Ndiyala under the Native Rhythm label after years of struggling to get a break in the music industry. Her opportunity came in 2014 when she heard that Native Rhythm CEO Sipho Sithole would be coming to Cape Town on a business trip.
She used social media to make an appointment with him and when he agreed to see her, she immediately sent him her song Ndiyala to listen to before they met. Linomtha was so excited that she arrived for the meeting extra early. She said Mr Sithole was a humble man and people’s person. When they met he told her that she had done a nice rendition of her song. He took a picture of her and said he would send it to his team. “That was a dream come true for me,” she told Vukani.
The short meeting with Mr Sithole saw her signing up with the label that has produced, among others, Unathi, Zonke, Simphiwe Dana, Thandiswa Mazwai and The Soil. Linomtha was given an opportunity to go to Gauteng to record the 13-song album. “In life I always knew I wanted to be something. I came to Cape Town when I couldn’t even make a sentence in English. But in class I was always a top student because I worked three times harder than everyone else . I was a singer, poet and a writer at an early age,” she said. “Joining Native Rhythm was among my dreams because of their artists and how they treat artists. Their artists are mostly Afrocentric that is why I wanted to be part of them,” she said. Linomtha said the album was doing “great” in the market. She said the album is about her story and each song represents a part of her life. “This is my story. In this album, I poured my soul out. This is the story of many people like me. I had to wait and I was becoming impatient but I knew they knew what they were doing.”
Making the album has taught her patience and she feels as if she has matured. Even though sales of the album are going well, Linomtha said
she has not stopped marketing it. She helps the recording company to market it on social media. She is grateful that it is till on the shelves. Part of her mission in life is to never stop motivating young people. She is also a Xhosa teacher from Grade 3 to 6 to non-Xhosa speakers. “I love languages. I love my own mother tongue. I had to learn English quickly so why can non-Xhosa speakers not learn isiXhosa? I love motivating people. “It is an African thing. Our background tells the story. We love each other. We have respect and kindness. “I am grateful to people around me, my stable and my family for their support. I am grateful that I finally get the chance to do what I like, singing. I am now busy with preparations to shoot a video. I am writing intsomi (folk tales) for the public broadcaster,” she said,
Linomtha does not regret having to wait so long to finally release her album. Her album is available on all digital music platforms such as iTunes and Spotify