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For the Durban University of Technology (DUT) lecturer, Ms Nozuko Teto, being an academic is as rewarding and gratifying as singing opera. The Junior Lecturer for Voice and Singing in the Drama and Production Studies Department has travelled all over the world and uses her experience to inspire and nurture aspirant young performers.

Teto holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Post Graduate Diploma in Opera Performance. On completion of her studies at the University of Cape Town she was awarded a scholarship by the Nicolai Ghiauroy Foundation to study Belcanto Singing Technique in Modena, Italy with her favourite soprano, the legendary late Mirella Freni.

She made her international debut in 2011 and has performed widely overseas and in South Africa.

“Singing has always been part of my life from around the fireplace with my seven siblings, to gospel groups with my neighbours and school choirs. My choir conductor at school Mr V. J. Dumela saw something special about my voice and encouraged me to study further. As a lecturer, I pay back by encouraging students to unlock their true potential,” she said.

The soprano expressed her great love for choral and opera music. “Choral music paved the way to opera music which now gives me opportunities to ‘live truthfully under imaginary circumstances’ and get paid for it, change lives, and build a legacy,” she said.

Initially uncertain about the possibility of making a career of music in South Africa, before becoming a lecturer, Teto registered a private company, Adesso Enterprises (Pty) Ltd which offers a platform to create opportunities not only for herself but for those around her who are willing to ‘be the change’ they want to be. She also runs a registered non-profit organisation that accesses government funding. Her outreach programme sources funding to take music to the townships and rural areas through mentorship programmes.

“With these two organisations I hope to inspire and nurture the teenage voices of girls and boys through music performances. A lot can be achieved by such performance, especially for young people who are exposed to peer pressure, bullying, or gender-based violence,” added Teto.

Pictured: Nozuko Teto

Waheeda Peters

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