I think her interview caught my interest because of her big afro, it also could have been her big smile, she doesn’t hold back when it comes to smiling. I usually browse stations before I settle on the one that will play the background noise as I do other things like play scrabble with my computer (don’t judge me, the computer knows many words). I enjoy watching Insight Germany on DW, but not all interviews are interesting so I give them a 30 second test.
Pumeza is a German based South African opera singer. She has a new album out where she mixes opera style of singing with singing in her native tongue, Xhosa. It was very interesting seeing her explain the basics of her language to the German interviewer who was no doubt struggling with the clicks . As she waved her hands around in speech, I noticed her short nails, not painted, my smile grew wider. She had these shoes, basic half inch rubber soled black shoes. The kind of shoes some people I know would buy for their grand mothers because they are comfortable and practical. Mind you, Pumeza is far from being a grandmother, she was born around 1980. She laughs, she laughs heartily, the kind where she throws her head back and makes you want to join in.
I love this woman! I totally enjoyed watching her being un apologetically herself. Un-apologetically African, without giving into a certain stereotype. When asked what she did not like about Germany, she said it was the food. She did not like what they cooked and hence gravitated more towards the fresh vegetables. We usually have a tendency to exaggerate or lie about our experiences in countries outside of our own. It seems a fancy thing to appreciate foreign cuisines, but she was honest!!!! It is not as easy as some make it seem to adopt to something that is foreign or new to you. It is okay if you’ve been raised in warmer climate to not like snow. It is okay to not like pizzas and burgers and a whole other list of things.
But above all, as if she had not impressed me enough with singing the opera in xhosa,her basic shoes and lack of nail varnish and her dislike for German food, I find out that she studied Quantity Surveying! Quantity surveying people!!! Let me explain why this is a big deal. I too, my friends, studied Quantity Surveying. I too, like Pumeza, walked away from Quantity Surveying not withstanding that it promised me a stable wealthy future. I watched wide eyed as she expressed sentiments I too hold. About how she knew it wasn’t for her and how her heart beat for music. Well, my heart is not necessarily towards music, but it was nice to see someone who walked away from what I did and is successful in something else.
I am not even that much of a classical music fan, but I wish I could buy her CD; her first studio recorded album “Voice of hope”. Take a listen, one of the songs on the album