A passion for the arts

PORT Elizabeth Opera House general manager Monde Ngonyama is only a few months into his new job, but he took time out of his schedule – which he said mostly involves "hustling" for artists – to have lunch with La Femme.

As a former performer and scriptwriter Ngonyama displays an obvious passion for the arts despite his background as head of department at a school in Uitenhage.

He shared his thoughts on the performing arts industry and his life over a meal of grilled hake at Blue Waters Cafe at Shark Rock Pier in Summerstrand.

I love my career because ... most of what it is about is never certain and amid that, one has to try and remain sane.

I have a soft spot for ... my one-year-old nephew, Ntlahla.

I should have studied ... music.

I'd love to party with ... former president Thabo Mbeki.

I'm listening to ... Zimbabwean singer Chiwoniso.

When I was 16, I wish I knew ... as a member of Cosas then, fighting for liberation, how bad at some point (today) freedom would taste due to total disregard of what it is to serve people by people with the duty to serve people selflessly.

I'll know I've made it when ... the artists and filmmakers based in the Eastern Cape have found a national footing consistently.

The person who has taught me the most is ... my grandfather, Lindani Klaas Ngonyama.

My music weakness is ... appreciation of perfection of basics, be it singing or instruments.

Nothing makes me happier than ... a peaceful environment.

I absolutely hate ... racial ignorance.

I am saving to buy ... land to build a house that will have a state-of-the-art studio with film editing suites and a decent rehearsal space.

I share my life with ... Nobesuthu Rayi.

I can't go a day without ... reading and water.

In 10 years I see myself ... producing films and musicals with African resonance.