If some had their way, singer Kelly Khumalo could have by now migrated or sought solace elsewhere away from South Africa. The mother of two has not had it easy, as ‘bad luck’ seems to follow her wherever she goes.
“I do not need to explain myself or anything to anyone. Things happen to people all the time. Why do people expect me to react how they would react? I react differently to things that even I shock myself at times,” Khumalo tells Showbiz in an exclusive interview. The controversial singer and actress made it clear before the interview that she does not want to talk about ‘the topic’ that has landed her in almost all front covers of newspapers and magazines. She seems to have buried the past and is more than ever determined to move on and concentrate on her life and career.
“When people expect me to go north, I will go south,” she says when responding to why she has never had a public statement on the events that took place on October 26, 2014. Khumalo, who had an on-and-off relationship with the father of her child, Senzo Meyiwa, was present during the tragic shooting of the Bafana Bafana and Pirates goalkeeper.
Meyiwa was reportedly shot by robbers at Khumalo’s mother’s home in Vosloorus and died. Khumalo, who was first discovered in 2003 at a gospel star search, closed the Senzo chapter saying, “I do not even read newspapers or magazines. If I pass one with my name on it I do not even take a second look. The media is just media so… really, my true fans know the real Kelly and their love humbles me all the time”.
One of her latest singles, Asine caused quite a stir, on social media especially. Released just before the death of her lover, Meyiwa some suggested that it was prophetic. Khumalo explains that the song is about a woman accused of killing her husband with the community not getting her side of the story.
Interestingly, Khumalo explains to Showbiz that the irony is that the song was written by Sello ‘Chicco’ Twala and was released way before the incident.
“Asine is about a woman who was accused of killing her husband. Every time something happened to the husband, the wife is the number one suspect, without even wanting to know what really happened. People do not even allow that person to mourn or have that privacy to deal with matters of whatever she is going through. I wanted to be the voice of that woman that has never been represented before,” she says.
Dressed in a black flat cap, tank top and tight pants, one may have a totally different picture of Khumalo in mind. She is fairly short and is so light in complexion one could literally see the veins on her face.
Her confidence and positive attitude radiate during the interview, especially when she talks about her faith. After a two-year absence from the studio, the songbird says that her latest album was not planned. She explained how she had bumped into the sole producer of the album, Chicco who then literally dragged her to studio.
“It was God’s time and plan,” she says.
“Everything just came out in the studio. It is a reflection of where I come from as an individual, but musically and personally, it represents all the different aspects of who I am as an African. The album pushed me to retrace who I really am,” Khumalo says.
In the album, the Afro pop singer also did a cover song of Brenda Fassie’s Nikubambe, saying that it represents another part of Africa. “I want people to understand what being an African is. It captured the true essence of Africa,” she says.
“All the songs represent a different part of me, which I hold very dear. Each is very important to me.” Khumalo is no ‘virgin’ when it comes to setting tongues wagging. When she was fresh in the entertainment industry she reportedly claimed she was a virgin, which she was criticised for given her wild ways. Also after her public affair with fellow musician and convict Jub Jub, she later confessed that he was abusive and occasionally used illegal narcotics. Khumalo seems to have put her past behind and focusing on reviving her music career. She says that she will be performing in Botswana soon. She hinted that she would love to collaborate with Simphiwe Dana, but locally she is a die-hard fan of Culture Spears.