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Make Money Mondays

'There are wonderful advantages to growing up in a community like that'

9 November 2020 8:07 PM

Bruce Whitfield interviews Ralf Schmitt (Ndlovu Youth Choir) about his attitude to money (hopes, fears, successes, failures, etc.)

Just because you’re born in poverty doesn’t mean you are poverty.

Ralf Schmitt, conductor - Ndlovu Youth Choir

Every week The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews a famous person about her or his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes, and failures, etc.) as part of his weekly “Other People’s Money” feature.

This week Whitfield interviewed Ndlovu Youth Choir conductor Ralf Schmitt.

The conductor of the Ndlovu Youth Choir Ralf Schmitt is welcomed by South Africans gathered at the OR Tambo International Airport after the choir came in second on 'America's Got Talent'. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

Recent articles from this feature ("Other People's Money"):


Schmitt became a household name in South Africa when the Ndlovu Youth Choir blew minds at America’s Got Talent in July 2019.

Born in Johannesburg, Schmitt went to Kearsney College in Botha’s Hill, KwaZulu-Natal where was a member of the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir.

His wife, Marguerite, is a musician and teacher.

Schmitt is the choirmaster at Roedean School, a private school for girls in Parktown.

  • What is it that Schmitt believes about money?

  • Does it keep him up at night?

  • Does he spend like crazy or save compulsively?

  • How did his childhood experiences shape his views on money?

My parents were hardworking… I grew up in Weltevredenpark in Roodepoort... My folks… worked two or three jobs… gave me and my sister everything we needed, at great cost to themselves…

Ralf Schmitt, conductor - Ndlovu Youth Choir

Property, property, property… rather own than rent!

Ralf Schmitt, conductor - Ndlovu Youth Choir

I’ve been very disciplined with my retirement annuity…

Ralf Schmitt, conductor - Ndlovu Youth Choir

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

We [Ndlovu Youth Choir] were invited… they [America’s Got Talent] scouted us… the pinnacle of my career… It’s been so amazing to see these young people grow into the best versions of themselves…

Ralf Schmitt, conductor - Ndlovu Youth Choir

Covid has enabled us to expand our clientele…

Ralf Schmitt, conductor - Ndlovu Youth Choir

I learn more from them than they learn from me. I’ve had a very privileged upbringing…

Ralf Schmitt, conductor - Ndlovu Youth Choir

There are wonderful advantages to growing up in a community like that [Moutse village in Limpopo]...

Ralf Schmitt, conductor - Ndlovu Youth Choir

I was shocked when I was approached to be on your show! …

Ralf Schmitt, conductor - Ndlovu Youth Choir

I’ve always had access to financial advice… generational privilege that I want to pass down to younger South Africans.

Ralf Schmitt, conductor - Ndlovu Youth Choir



9 November 2020 8:07 PM

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