When she burst onto the music scene, she could do no wrong. She was a talented, young musician and dancer in a genre that was mostly dominated by men, and she was making her mark.
Her performances were often sold out; her breakout song, Wololo, quickly turned into an anthem; and South African men declared her “the nation’s girlfriend”.
It wasn’t long before she became known as the queen of gqom.
Then, just as her star was reaching the top, Babes Wodumo started slipping.
Missed performances here and there, then rumours of drug use and the big abuse claims against her manager and boyfriend Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo (37).
Now Babes’ name is associated with controversy. And things didn’t improve after her recent interview with Kwa Mam’Mkhize reality TV star Tha Simelane, where Babes opened up about the pressures that come with fame, especially at a young age.
She wasn’t 100% sober during the interview, which fans could clearly see.
“I’m drunk, but it’s fine,” she told Tha.
Some fans wrote her off.
But Babes, real name Bongekile Sime lane (25), hasn’t given up on her dream to “entertain people and be the biggest star in the country”, she tells DRUM.
She has wrapped three music video shoots. One is for her upcoming single Lamont, named after the township in Kwa Zulu-Natal where she was raised for most of her childhood. It’s also the leading single from her upcoming album, Idando Kazi.
The second music video is for a song by Mampintsha called Sduku Duku, and the third is for What Time Is It by Mampintsha featuring Babes, Bhar and Danger.
“I can’t wait for my full album to be released. People will get to see me in my element,” she says.
“I am Babes – nothing has changed. I love myself the way I am and I have no regrets about the decisions I’ve made in my life,” she adds.
“I would not change anything about myself. I believe in God’s decisions and this is perfect.”
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9 July 2020