Nianell, Love is Home, My Story

by | Conscious Living, Print Articles, Winter 2024

An interview with Nianell, multi-platinum singer, songwriter, author, healer, teacher and motivational speaker

Five years ago Odyssey’s editor Debra Robins interviewed Nianell, at her home in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, where she shared that she was dating an incredibly special human. She had just launched her book, Life Simplified which incidentally is a powerful read.

“I had the joy of sharing a sumptuous lunch with her and her daughters Kaeley, Tayden and Jade, prepared by her dearest friend and personal assistant, Ronel.”

“Nianell married Kevin – her ‘special human’ – on April 28th (cover image) and I caught up with them in Cape Town recently, after a busy schedule which included a honeymoon for this truly special couple.”

Nianell was also attending a ThetaHealing refresher course in Cape Town and had a number of theatre bookings for the ‘Love is Home’ musical journey that speaks to the heart and soul.

This musical production was inspired by the poignant moments in Nianell’s life, including the passing of her dear friend Ronel, her triplets relocating to Amsterdam and the loss of beloved father, Flip, last year – 2023.

“Each beautiful piece weaves a narrative of resilience, love and the interconnectedness of the human experience.” Nianell.

When we did the 2019 interview you shared that your mom’s death had impacted your life and connecting with her in spirit took you on your healing journey. You mentioned when I set up the interview that 2023 was one of “the biggest Earth-shaking years” for you?

January last year, that’s 2023, Ronel passed away. She had been sick for two years and that was a profound journey for me as she had been a very big part of my life. She home-schooled my children, having come to live with me from when they were maybe six months or seven months old. She had been headmistress at a school in Cape Town. I had actually met her at a charity concert at her school, where I performed. She resigned to come and help us, myself and my husband, Andrew, at the time, having received a strong vision when she was 20 that she was going to help someone with their children.

Initially Ronel stayed with us in our home but later moved into the house next door. We raised the children together in an unexpected way. It was an unspoken exchange of sorts, where she couldn’t have children of her own and I was extremely busy and needed assistance. We had this gentle understanding that how we met also met a different need in each of us. I was very blessed to have someone like her because I could never give the kids on my own what we gave them together, Ronel brought the elements in that I never had the time to do. When she got sick it was a huge shift for me; the children basically lost a mother.

One of my most profound memories of her was on a hospital visit, when Ronel said: “I can feel… I can feel love… I can feel everyone’s love.”  I asked if she really had never felt love before, which she confirmed and, in that moment, I realised that each one of us comes to this planet to experience love, not just the giving of love but also the receiving of love and I realised she would never have been able to experience love or feel it if she didn’t get sick, the way that she did. It gave me much deeper understanding, as, through this, she taught me to learn how to forgive myself also.

When she passed over, I actually sat down and went into deep meditation connecting with all that is energy – all that we’re all a part of – and I contemplated which profound soul would have the courage to join me on my path, to come and teach me and to come into my life. Looking back, she could be stubborn and controlling – a ‘headmistress’ – and I had to push hard for my choices to be honoured. She taught me that I have to learn how to forgive myself for a lot of things, and in meditation, I asked: “Who are you who came into my life to teach me all of this? “
And I heard so clearly: “I am God.”

I literally felt that I moved out of my body and back in – and came to the realisation that everyone that comes into our journey is an expression of God to come and teach us something.

She was my person and she didn’t have any other person in the world – I had to sort out everything and organise the funeral. And then I thought: Okay, what am I learning from you now?  Confirmation was instant! I needed to look after myself. Ronel didn’t look after herself, she never looked after herself, she always looked after everybody else, but she never took care of her own abundance nor her own health.

I spoke to myself firmly: “Go and have a check-up; you haven’t been to the doctor for a while.” I had a little mole on my leg that was growing and I went to the dermatologist, who suggested a biopsy ‘just to be sure’. It turned out to be melanoma cancer! They cut it out and that message set me off on a much-needed self-care journey.

In June, my children, went to live in Amsterdam with their father. This was very challenging for me. I questioned my role as a mother, asking… did I do the best I could?
I understand completely why they had to go. It is written in our soul journeys. After 15 years of raising triplets, I acknowledged how much I had on hold and how I held myself back for both them and me. As an example:  I was around 40 and my daughters four years old, I did a cover of a magazine, just after I wrote my book Knowing Who I Am.The cover was supposed to say: ‘Nianell, a Celebration of Life’ when, what THE cover actually read was ‘Nianell, My Life was Hell’… and there I was on the cover with my three beautiful daughters laughing and smiling.

Subconsciously I started pulling and holding back a little bit more in every situation, pulling back to protect my family

The one thing is that I became conscious of is how I didn’t and wouldn’t allow myself to shine, if there was potential harm to my children or my family. Many folks don’t allow themselves to be out there, shining brightly as they are, just because it may cause someone else discomfort.

Sadly, we gradually start to dim. I have great comfort that my daughters are happily settled in the Netherlands and my inner-knowing tells me that I also need to ‘come back to life’ find new dreams, new passions and things to look forward to. I made a conscious choice to come back to what I want, and it’s not necessarily material things. I believe what we all really want are experiences.

That which makes me deeply, deeply happy is to walk in nature with my husband, Kevin, and with our dogs. It’s one of those things that gives me the greatest joy…

So what experiences do I still want to experience? And one of them was definitely for me, I thought to myself. If I have to be at the end of my life now, right now, what would I regret? And I would regret not living by the sea, I would regret not living in nature.

After my children left for Amsterdam, I became exceedingly clairaudient and far more intuitive than I had been. As we got into the last quarter of the year, the creator told me: “Your father is going to die in December. You need to go and see him.”

I booked a plane ticket and I went to see him in October. I knew he was going to die in December but my schedule was full. I sat with him massaging his feet, gently rubbing his hands and his back and he didn’t talk since he had two strokes.

I remember sitting there and watching his skin, which was so light, it was almost becoming like pearl iridescent and sort of shining through. It’s as if God said to me, look how the physical is making space for the spiritual, it’s like it’s just transforming. It was so different for me than what happened with Ronel, whose passing was very dramatic and the physical release from the Earth plane really disconcerting. With my father, it was a comfort to show me something different, a beautiful and gentle transition.

And while there is no timeline on grief, we tend to hold on to grief so much longer when there are unresolved issues. From my personal healing and growth, the ‘Letting Go, Simplified’ workshop has evolved. Learning to let go is a part of life and, as you age, so you will start having to let go of so many things: Your parents leave, your fiends leave.

Up to age seven the root chakra develops, ages seven to14 the sacral chakra develops, ages 14 to 21 the solar plexus chakra develops, 21 to 28, is the heart chakra, 28 to 35 the throat chakra then, as 50 approaches, you move into the third-eye and crown chakras

What blocks the crown chakra are attachments and, in the development stage of the crown chakra, you are learning to let go of everything that you thought defined your worth, your value. You acknowledge that roles do not define you. It can be a very challenging process for people to undergo.

When we last met you were dating an ‘adorable man’ and a ’beautiful human’. That was early 2019 and now you’re married – heartfelt congratulations to you both. You mentioned that you had been together for nine years. We all love romance and happy endings… tell the readers more?

Getting married to Kevin for me is a new beginning
Just before Covid, we decided to move in together. It was wonderful, sometimes scary and at times hectic. Quite a ride, but so worth it!  I chose a new beginning and then put full energy and focus in the new and what I can create. I remind myself of that every day. That can tell you that I have the most amazing partner on planet Earth. One thing that we did was to detach from a future. We decided we’re going to just be present with each other; we’re going to take a day at a time.

The first five years that we dated, he didn’t live with me – and then he moved in. And then the dynamic changed. Kevin basically helped me raise the children, but not in the sense of being their father. He never took the role of dad, but he was in their life. They were seven years old. He has been a very big part of their life, always there listening to them, playing with them, talking with them.

He’s so caring. He treats me like a goddess every day. In the nine years that I have known Kevin, I’ve never heard him say a bad word about anybody, I have never seen him harm an insect – he simply does no harm. He’s just one of the most advanced souls. He may be 22 years younger than me, but his wisdom ancient. When you finally meet that person later in life, you’re not falling in love with a human, you’re falling in love with another soul. So, the age is irrelevant. I fell in love and am in love with a soul.

That’s wonderful. You do know the readers are going to want to know the whole story!

So, we actually felt from day one that we were married, you know, I met him when about to perform at a star-like classic concert. I was standing looking at the stage they were busy erecting, it was incredible. It was night time and I was standing with my back to him I heard this voice behind me. “Can I help you with that?” The minute I felt his vibration I felt like I was home.

I immediately knew his voice and I couldn’t see him. It was dark there but I turned around and said thank you very much. I couldn’t see him in the dark and I remember we walked in between those trees that are hundreds of years old. We got to the car and that’s the first time I saw him in the lights of the car. We instantly knew each other.

It took him a whole week of setting up and performances to have the courage to come and speak to me again. I was hoping he would because I didn’t want to push anything.

And it took a lot of courage because he was working. His brother works for this big production company. Kevin was studying mechanical engineering and they just got him as an extra to help. After these shows there’s usually a little gathering. I never go to these things but I saw him and heard him and felt him, so I went and I was just sitting there. Finally his brother gave him the courage to ask if I wanted something to drink. I said I’d have a glass of wine, which I didn’t drink, but I just wanted to keep talking to him. We can still talk for hours and hours.

We had been talking about marriage for a long time. Both of us wanted to be married, but we didn’t want to do the whole marriage thing.

Since I met him, I had this little girl-like dream. I would like to be married to him, but I had to wait for him to grow up a little bit. And for him, he always said to me: “I’m already married to you.”

You know, we felt like we had a deep spiritual marriage. And then, in the beginning of April, he said to me: “Would you want to get married with me?”

And I said, yes, you have to do it. We just finally decided we’re going to do this.

And the story reads like this…  letting go, love is home, rise up, you and your creator. So if you look at the story, letting go, love is home, is what you have done and you ‘rise up’, in the great collaboration with Craig Hinds.

For me love is home. Everybody is on a different journey and I have realised that it’s not like they live with me but rather within me, as the love that we have for each other will always be there. And that, for me, is home. So we often look for things outside ourselves as love, but we are love. Therefore, we are always home… Wellness within is knowing we are love.

It’s very comforting. I’ve been through some, some tough times and then we just walk around the block and the two of us will just sing ‘Love is Home’.

We will just sing it together as we walk and as I sing it, I just feel better. The very comforting song, Rise Up I wrote with Billy Lowry. Two years ago, I signed a world publishing deal with Fairwood Music in the UK. Fairwood Music owns all the publishing rights of David Bowie and the person who just wrote the entire soundtrack for Avatar is with them. They have serious, serious songwriters on their books.

They connected me with Billy Lowry, who is the brother of Lulu, who was huge in the 60s in the UK.  So he’s a phenomenal songwriter. He wrote that Grammy-nominated song. ‘I don’t wanna fight any more’, by Tina Turner. So the two of us wrote the song, ‘Rise Up’ together.  I had just finished writing that song when Craig Hinds actually contacted me about a revamp of the song we had done together for ‘Jock of the Bushveld’ and I said: “Don’t you want to record a brand-new song? I’ve just got this song now, you know?” He listened to it and he loved it.

We sang ‘Rise up’ together. Rise up is completely different to the rest of the songs on the album ‘Love is Home’. There’s also a song called, ‘Thank You. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me’.  The Ho’oponopono Mantra.

There’s a song that I wrote to my father after he passed away in December. A Song That’s Yet Unsung” which serves as a touching tribute to my father, reassuring us that the bonds of love are eternal. It is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever written. I just started realising that, in any given moment, each one of us was infinite possibilities – if I had to see myself through the consciousness of the creator, what would I see?

I would probably see perfection and wholeness and whatever else, but then I think, what would I really, really see? And then I heard it… God sees infinite possibilities when God looks at us, because, in any given moment, we have this free will to choose and to create anything.

Gratitude beautiful Sonia, Nianell with the voice of an angel, the heart of one Divine, thank you for sharing your journey which will inspire many. You are so loved and so appreciated.
All love, Debra.

Nianell is passionate about being of service. She holds a PhD in Metaphysics and a Master’s Qualification and Certificate of Science in ThetaHealing. She has also completed various courses in sound healing, Brain Gym, Access Bars and Breathwork Master and Sound Oracle extraordinaire.

Cover Image: Nianell and her husband Kevin
Image by: Marihes van Rooyen.