Welcome Nzimande (popularly known as Bhodloza) was born in 1947 at Phatheni Reserve in Richmond in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
He holds a Higher Primary Teacher’s Certificate (HPTC) certificate from Indaleni Training College (1970). In 1995, Nzimande obtained a B. Admin degree at the University of Zululand. Thereafter, he studied management and leadership at the Graduate School of Business (UDW) and at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at University of Pretoria.
Nzimande retired in 2010 after 32 years of service at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). He joined (the then) Radio Zulu in August 1978 as an announcer, translator and producer. Nzimande, also a news reader, presented popular radio programmes including Vuk’ukhanye Afrika (Breakfast Show), Sigiya Ngengoma, Ezidlubhedu, and Phumela Eshashalazini (Face the Press). He also worked as a TV presenter co-anchoring the popular traditional music show called Ezodumo. He was appointed Station Manager of Ukhozi FM in 1997. When he joined Radio Zulu, the station had just over three-million listeners and currently Ukhozi FM boasts six-million listeners. Nzimande was Station Manager of Ukhozi FM for almost 13 years when he took an early retirement at the end of March 2010. In April 2010, Nzimande joined Mvunonala Investment Consultants.
Nzimande used the power of radio to help defuse political violence in South Africa when, for example, local political leaders Mr. Mlaba (IFP) and Mr. Radebe (ANC) were given the opportunity to air their views on radio at a time when violence between the two parties was rife in Hammersdale, Mpumalanga, pre-1994. His show Phumela Eshashalazini was instrumental in ending the IFP and ANC led violence in Richmond, providing a platform for interaction and debate with live audience and members of the press.
Nzimande was responsible for various community building initiatives including formation of the South African Traditional Music Association (SATMA) with Prof Joseph Shabalala of the popular Ladysmith Black Mambazo, organisation contributed immensely in the development of traditional music and unearthing music talent in KwaZulu-Natal and beyond. In 2005 this led to the formation of the SATMA awards of which he became the active board member until when he formed the Bhodloza Nzimande Foundation (BNF).
In February 2013 he was appointed by the Minister of Labour to be the Chairperson of the Unemployment Insurance Fund Board (UIF). He passed away in January 2021 at the age of 73 from COVID-19 related complications.