AZILE Nesi is living his dream as a musician and owner of a production company called Inkunzi Records, in between a fulltime career with the Department of Energy.
When he is not pursuing his music, the 26-year-old NU1 resident is a member of the South African government team which licenses and regulates entities that manufacture, distribute and retail petroleum products in South Africa.
Nesi says his love of music began at the age of 11, when he wanted to learn more about the industry and what it entails.
“I got a chance to work with one of the prominent record labels in the Eastern Cape as a performing artist and office assistant,” he said.
The label was Kubo Records, which was owned by ex-Umhlobo Wenene DJ Tulz and DJ Mozent.
“They clearly understood the music industry and its dynamics, and had ties with Joburg-based music companies,” said Nesi.
His venture into a musical career did not end there. When he was in Grade 9 he was one of the beneficiaries of a bursary scheme called African Scholars Fund – mainly because of his good marks at school.
“The bursary helped me a lot because my parents did not have to pay any school fees until I left school. After matric, in 2004, I went to work for South African Breweries for six months as a warehouse assistant.
” I then worked as a merchandiser for East Cape Agencies,” said Azile.
Working allowed him to save up enough money to further his studies at university.
“In 2005 I enrolled for my national diploma in public management at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University [NMMU].
” I then got another bursary that assisted me to finish my studies.
“During my varsity holidays I used to work too, odd jobs from various companies,” said Nesi.
He saw other opportunities along the way and grabbed them.
Today he has a national diploma in public management, a B-Tech degree in public management, and a Masters Degree in Development Studies (both from NMMU), as well as a post-graduate diploma in advanced management from the University of Pretoria.
But music remains his first love. He has made many appearances at Motherwell taverns and at clubs in other parts of the city. He even performed at the popular Splash Festival on the Port Elizabeth beachfront last year.
Nesi has already signed three aspiring artists to his record label and is now working on promoting new artists.
“I am a hard worker and when I see an opportunity I don’t let it pass.
“I believe nothing is impossible: if you want to be successful in life, you have to be willing to work hard,” Nesi said.