Aphelele Mabanga is a 23 year old student at the University of the Free State pursuing a degree in LLB Law. Outside of her love for the law, Aphelele is also a choral singer and says although she started singing at the age of 13, her journey in music started long before that because she grew up in a family of singers.
Aphelele was privileged enough to grow up watching her parents sing in the choral and opera fraternity since she was a toddler and it has been a family passion for as long as she can remember. She went to school at Aston Manor Primary School but sang at Emmangweni Primary School because her school did not have a choir that participated in choral competitions.
As mentioned before, choral and opera is not something that Aphelele is doing for a living. She’s a full time Law student but singing is one of her passions. She notes that some of the challenges faced in this genre of music is that there is only just a small community of people who participate in it. It is also quite difficult to create sustainable jobs in this genre of music especially in South Africa because it mostly focuses on competitions and not necessarily growth, in terms of sustainable work.
She says one of her top achievements in this art form was I receiving a second place trophy for her first ever aria (solo) that she performed at the South African School Choir Eisteddfod in 2009. The choir that she currently sings for, Kopano Chorus, has also recently won consecutively in 2017 and 2018, platinum trophies in SA’s biggest choral competition, the Old Mutual National Choir Festival.
“I’d say what makes me a woman that rocks is that I am continuously working on myself and empowering myself. I have realised that the essence of empowering women cannot take shape and form without the empowerment of oneself. I am woman who presents herself with poise and elegance. I’m constantly educating myself and I aspire to acquire more knowledge. I walk confidently in my step and speak boldly in my voice.”
Her aspirations include becoming an advocate one day but she would also like to become a home chef as she really enjoys cooking. She would also like to own a few businesses of her own that focus on creating employment for women in South Africa.