My Joburg: Linda Bukhosini

04 December 2010 - 22:26
By Nikki Temkin

I am ... spontaneous, sometimes pensive, naive and love laughing aloud.

Where were you born? In Chesterville, a small township in Kwazulu Natal.

My life philosophy is ... liberate yourself through the use of the pen.

Where do you live? In Durban North.

Who do you share your house with? My husband Bongani Tembe and our daughter Nondumiso, who is 25.

How did you get into your career? I studied music for nine years, six of them at Julliard School in New York. I managed to study music at a time when black people needed special permits to go to university. I also studied the business of music and this is my fifth year as CEO of The Playhouse.

The South African theatre scene is ... exciting and frustrating. There is an abundance of talent but too many entertainers who have been packaged instead of allowed to grow organically.

What would people be surprised to know about you? I am a born-again Christian.

The power of theatre is ... an incredible opportunity to influence people. When you're standing on stage, if you're really good at what you do, you can make people think and feel certain things.

Why are you drawn to opera? I'm predisposed to classics - not just European, but Miriam Makeba and jazz such as Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis. I also love Ladysmith Black Mambazo and The Mahotella Queens.

what's your favourite project right now? I take productions to the townships and rural areas to make theatre as accessible to the wider community as possible.

If you weren't doing what you do, you'd be ... a full-time mom or a doctor.

I'm predisposed to ... serenity, walking on the beach early in the morning, taking drives in the game park and drinking in the smells and sounds of nature.

I am passionate about ... God.

What do you love most about living in Durban? The humidity, the smell of the soil before it rains and the lushness and green of spring.

If you were mayor for the day, what would you do? I'd make everyone do one deliberate act of kindness every day.

You know you're in Durban when ... There's an otherworldly air, a certain smell, the vegetation is lush and then towards the centre of Durban it becomes sticky, murky and humid. For a singer it's the best climate in the world. It lubricates your vocal chords.

I can't go a day without ... prayer.

If you inherited R100-million what would you do with it? I'd start with renovations in my church and then build community centres around the country to give people a creative outlet. I believe that if you occupy people, then there wouldn't be as much crime.

What CDs are you playing in your car? My daughter's album, Izwi Lami.

What are you reading? Bound by Faith about Chief Albert Luthuli.

If your house caught fire what would you save? My daughter.

Your favourite performance was when I sang completely spontaneously on the spot in church.

I always collect ... nothing. I'm more connected to the intangibles, such as integrity and honour.

Perfect happiness is ... I've spent my life trying to find it. It's elusive. I've learnt how to be happy no matter where I am at.

What's it like to perform with your husband? We have a wonderful chemistry.

If money could buy happiness ... then there wouldn't be so much corruption and greed.

On my epitaph, I'd like it to say ... She was a good mom, a good citizen, an honourable wife and she made a difference in my life. She cared.

Loves & Hates

Elegance: My mother was a housekeeper and I knew what good-quality clothing was from a young age.

God: With a capital G.

Laughter: Gut-busting, loud and raucous laughter is the best.

Creating: I love creating excellence on stage.

Good food: I take a bit of everything, different flavours and mix it together - I'm a brilliant cook.

Soccer: The World Cup was a special gift for me. I love Thierry Henry and Ronaldo and support their teams. But I also like rugby and Jomo Sono.

Mediocrity: Why settle for less than the best? It's just an excuse to sabotage others' best efforts.

Political correctness: Trying to please others doesn't work for me. I have learnt not to care what people think of me.

Culture of entitlement: I experience that a great deal in this country. I believe in honest, hard work and in creating your own opportunity. We have been given the intelligence, so let's get out there and do things.

False humility: I see it a lot in all corners of the church and am totally averse to it.