My City: Joburg – Loyiso Bala, born in Uitenhage

Loyiso Bala born in UitenhageI’M A BELIEVER: I wouldn’t say I’m religious but I have a personal relationship with God. So many things can go wrong that it’s impossible for me to think I can go through a day by myself

Where were you born? Uitenhage, Eastern Cape.

Where do you live? Bryanston.

Who do you share your house with? My fiancée, Jennifer.

How did you get into your career? I was doing my degree when Zwai Bala, my brother, asked me to come into the studio to record one of the songs that I had written.

Three years ago you performed at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday charity dinner in London. How was that experience? It was pretty nerve-wracking. Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton, Gordon Brown, Sir Elton John, Richard Branson and Uma Thurman were all there. But after the first minute of performing, when I saw the audience warming up, I relaxed.

What frustrates you about the local music industry? Radio. I don’t think that radio plays enough local music.

What’s your greatest extravagance? Sunglasses. I lose them all the time.

What’s your most treasured possession? My piano. It’s where I write.

I’m predisposed to… being on my BlackBerry – on Twitter or checking e-mail.

What’s the ugliest thing about Joburg? The crime.

What is the most memorable moment you’ve had in Joburg? Being at Soccer City at the opening of the World Cup. It was the most surreal experience.

I can’t go a day without… saying a prayer.

If you inherited R100-million, what would you do with it? I would build a music school in the Eastern Cape and a community centre in Uitenhage. I would also finish building my house and invest the rest.

What CDs are you playing in your car? The Wake Up by The Roots and John Legend, Israel Houghton’s The One, and Freshlyground’s Radio Africa.

If your house caught fire what would you save? My computer. All the songs I have written are on it.

What are your creature comforts? Lying on my couch and watching television.

What are you reading? A Conversation with a Racist by Karl Meyer.

My friends and I like… to braai on Sundays.

Perfect happiness is … not having to work, but loving your work.

Have you ever taken public transport in Joburg? On Public Transport Day, I abandoned my car and took a taxi to Sandton.

I met my partner… in London three years ago.

If money could buy happiness… I’d share it.

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