Bongani Justice was born and raised in Newcastle, a developing town of KwaZulu Natal province in South Africa. He graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2014 with a Performer’s Diploma in Opera and continued with postgraduate studies in 2015.
During his studies Bongani developed as a young artist through a number of university productions and collaborations with Cape Town Opera; roles include Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Lüther and Crespel in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, the Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Don Basilio in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Lord Sidney in Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims, Dottore Grenvil in Verdi’s La Traviata, and Figaro in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. He also has a keen interest in giving back to the community and participated in a prestigious outreach music programme, Kunstreffers, which toured around local schools and communities.
In 2014 Bongani was chosen to perform with Bryn Terfel during his tour to South Africa and was invited to take part in a short course at Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Programme (YAVA). He has won the Schock Foundation Prize for Singing, the Ian Renner Competition, and the Amazwi Omzansi Competition.
Bongani moved to Cardiff in 2015–16 to continue his studies with Dennis O’Neill on the Master’s Programme in Vocal Studies at the Welsh International Academy of Voice, where he participated in masterclasses with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Della Jones, Susan Bullock and Ryland Davis. He won both the first prize and audience prize in the Stuart Burrows International Competition in 2016.
Recent performances include Don Magnifico in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and the title role in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at the Baxter Theatre, University of Cape Town. Bongani has recently participated in an educational initiative in Botswana, Voice with Purpose, which inspires and gives training to young artists.