Music chose Ndjiharine

Natasha Ndjiharine shares her experiences at the University of Free State in South Africa.

10 September 2019 | Columns

Natasha Ndjiharine

I am a student at the University of the Free State, in South Africa.

I am currently doing a diploma in music at the Odeion School of Music, which focuses mostly on classical music, with my voice as my main instrument. I started my studies here in 2017.

I chose my programme, because firstly I absolutely love music and I am a firm believer in doing and focusing on what you are good at. Secondly, had it not been for Fanie Dorfling, the choir conductor of the College of the Arts (Cota) youth choir, I probably wouldn’t be pursuing music. God really used him to groom me and encourage me to believe in myself, as much as he did in me.

My decision was quite sudden, as it was not part of my plans, prior to the opportunity of studying music presenting itself.

The University of The Free State’s music school professor came to Windhoek for a workshop and to recruit people.

I say ‘recruit’, for lack of a better word, but that is basically how everything unfolded for me.

I was in grade 11 at the time. The main challenge for me was qualifying for a music degree, because I did not have enough knowledge to qualify, so instead I went for a diploma, because it was more attainable, as I had about a year and a half to work on my music theory and qualify. It was really tough for me, however, I was not concerned.

I really just wanted to get in! I didn’t take a language test, but English as a module was compulsory. I love that the university has become more inclusive of cultural differences and that it has changed its language policy to fit everyone.

I also love the residence life and the university’s love for culture. This made the transition a lot easier! It shouldn’t be a big thing, because you would expect to have cultural differences when you move to a new country, but experiencing it is totally different, so the language difference was the biggest surprise for me, and the amount of people not willing to speak English.

There was nothing wrong with it, it was just a very different experience.

My advice I would give students who study abroad is: Have an open mind - you will be grateful and understand why in the long run. Don’t lose your sense of identity and be proud of who you are! Also, if you are contemplating whether or not you want to study outside your country, I say: 100% ABSOLUTELY GO FOR IT!

Go explore and experience the world. Live! There is nothing I would do differently, because every single hardship and failure has taught me something, and I believe the way my life is unfolding is a part of God’s plan, and I messed up a couple of times, but gained something in the end.

Everything works out for my good. My plans after graduating? Hmmm, we will just have to wait and see. God is leading the journey, though! Facts about myself: I am God-fearing. I really enjoy writing. I have a blog, check it out:

Did you know?

The University of Free State was first established as an institution of higher learning in 1904, as the tertiary portion of Grey College.

Natasha fun facts:

· She is a ‘wander bug’.

· She loves travelling and any form of art.

· Her family is everything to her.

· She enjoys DIY (do-it-yourself), including painting cellphone covers, sewing her own clothes and making earrings, etc.

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