Nomfundo Moh's debut album changes her life drastically

Songbird nominated in four Sama categories

Amanda Maliba Entertainment reporter
Nomfundo Moh performing at the Malibongwe-Tribute To Women concert in Emmarentia Botanical Gardens in Johannesburg, celebration Women's Day.
Nomfundo Moh performing at the Malibongwe-Tribute To Women concert in Emmarentia Botanical Gardens in Johannesburg, celebration Women's Day.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Since the release of her album Amagama in January, yielding smash hits Soft Life and Phakade Lami, songbird Nomfundo Moh's life has changed drastically.

From the instantaneous recognition on the streets to always being on the road performing, her debut album has brought about success that she could never have dreamed of.

Born Nomfundo Ngcobo, the 22-year-old is currently booked and busy that we catch up while she's on the road travelling back from a gig.

In just her first year in music, Nomfundo Moh is nominated in four categories at the SA Music Awards (Samas) and says this has been the biggest pat on the back. 

“This is about being recognised by the very industry that I am part of. It means that I am doing something right and I am excited about this,” she says cheerfully. 

The success of her album has even prompted her to release a deluxe version last week. The third single, Phakade Lami, (which currently sits on over 12-million views on YouTube) is nominated for Music Video of the Year, Record of the Year and Tiktok Viral Song of the Year. The album is also nodded for Best Afro-Pop Album category.

It comes as no surprise that all eyes will be on her when the winners are announced this Sunday.

Nomfundo Moh was raised in a musical family where every individual around her can sing – from her mother to father and even her grandfather. 

“It's actually so funny how we sing for everything back at home,” she says laughing.

“It goes as far as making up songs, whether we are busy with our chores or we've just come back from church. We go to a Zion church and everyone knows how music is at the centre of that church and therefore has become the centre of our lives."

Hailing from rural Ndwedwe in KwaZulu-Natal, she started a career in music privately while she was a student at University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her first attempt at performing live was at an open mic session on campus where she got to interact with other like-minded peers. 

“Since I was surrounded by so much talent and I was inspired, I decided to record one of the songs that I had been writing because now I had access to a producer. That is when I recorded my first single Lilizela and the response that I got from it assured me that I was doing the right thing. I then decided to record the second single Umthwalo," she recalls. 

Nomfundo Moh graduated with a bachelor of social work degree in May, and although her focus is now solely on music, she says her music is an extension of what she has always been passionate about – healing people.

That is something she would have prioritised had she practiced as a social worker, she emphasises.

“I love people, that is the first and foremost thing you should know about me. That is something I picked up from home and from church. So I always knew that my career would be centred around people, I just didn’t know it would be in this way. But through music, I get to heal and touch an even wider audience, and that is something that matters to me a lot,” she says. 

Away from the limelight, the firstborn of four children enjoys some downtime with her family where she gets to be her true self among people who know the essence of who she is.

She points out that she recently took a trip to her hometown and it was a refreshing period, especially since she is still getting used to the buzz of the City of Gold. “I will admit that the industry does get overwhelming at times. The load of work that is presented to me is a lot but I am blessed with a very supportive team. 

“My family has had a big impact on my musical taste and the type of music that I write. Music that is conscious of the next person and is positive in nature. Going to church is about focusing on people and their emotions, right? So I am just a true product of how I was raised."

Asked how many gongs she wished to walk away with, she modestly responded by saying that any number will do, before giggling away.

“Look, I am just honestly proud of the woman I am becoming. Seeing my music reach so many people is already a dream come true. I am definitely sure that I will walk away with at least one award. Anything beyond that is a bonus,” she said.

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