He has more than 20 years of experience on stage. He’s one of the brains behind the much loved Joyous Celebration.

A man of many titles, he’s a conductor, a talent scout, an executive producer and co-founder of the choir. He’s just added a new title to it all, he’s now Dr Lindelani Mkhize.

He was recently honored with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Community Development from the University of Zulu Land, an accolade that came as a pleasant surprise to him.

He found out at the beginning of the year that his home province wanted to bestow him with this prestigious honor. But COVID-19 disrupted plans for this to happen in the first quarter of the year, so he got distracted and didn’t put much thought to it.

“It started hitting home when the university started preparing for the ceremony and it actually hit me when I started driving there. I started asking questions about how this honor got to me. Then when I heard about the intense work that goes into the selection process, I was really overwhelmed and touched,” Dr Mkhize says.

This didn’t just happen overnight. He worked hard to get where he is and to those aspiring to reach goals and follow their passion, he says: “There are times where one will doubt if ‘it will really work’. We have all been there. Don’t abandon your dreams but know that the hard work comes with it. Don’t be afraid to work extra hours more than ordinarily.”