Retha­bile Khu­malo

Retha­bile wants to make it on her own with­out the help of her fa­mous mom


SHE first got a taste of the spot­light when she en­tered Idols SA at age 16 and made it to the top 16. Now, al­most seven years later, Retha­bile Khu­malo (24) is de­ter­mined to let her star shine bright. And she wants to make it on her own, with­out the help of her fa­mous mother, afro-pop singer Win­nie Khu­malo (45).

Since her mother is al­ready in the spot­light, Retha­bile has had to work ex­tra hard to prove she’s in­deed tal­ented, she tells Move!.

She says she’s had lots of doors slammed in her face, un­til her per­sis­tence caught the at­ten­tion of Dur­ban mu­sic boss, DJ Tira, who wel­comed her into the Afro­tain­ment fam­ily.


Retha­bile and her brother, Thando (27), were raised by their mother in Protea Glen, Soweto.

She ad­mits that hav­ing to find her way with­out re­ly­ing on her mother to hold her hand has been hard but lib­er­at­ing. It is harder be­cause her mother is not just an ex­pe­ri­enced artist, but she’s also her best friend.

“I would tell her that I can­not live my life through her, and she lets me go through the fail­ures and dis­ap­point­ments that come with try­ing to make it in the in­dus­try. If it meant I had to go sit at Ghandi Square with my gui­tar, I would just do it so I could learn what I had to learn,” Retha­bile says.

She still gets teary when she talks about the re­jec­tion she has en­coun­tered since try­ing to break into the in­dus­try. Be­ing on Idols tops the list. At the time she was still in high school at the Na­tional School of the Arts (NSA) where her love for mu­sic was nur­tured through­out her high school years. “Peo­ple have their ex­pec­ta­tions of what or how I am sup­posed to sound be­cause my mother is Win­nie Khu­malo,” she says. “I was told I was too young, but I felt it was un un­fair be­cause it was sup­posed to be abo about my singing. Age doesn’t matte mat­ter,” she tells Move!. Ad Adamant to find a way into the in­dus­try af­ter high school, sh she starred as a show-girl at M Mon­te­casino’s Cantare in a sh show called Heels and Feath­ers.


It i is no co­in­ci­dence that she in­tro­duced her­self into the in in­dus­try with a song ti­tled

No­math­emba No­mathe (mother of hope) which she sh wrote her­self. It cer­tainly got her no­ticed.

“When I want some­thing, I go for it,” Retha­bile says.

She re­calls the day the door of­fi­cially opened for her. Last year, her mother’s friend, Zodwa Wa­bantu in­vited them to her party at a pop­u­lar club in Soweto where the who’s who of Dur­ban were there, in­clud­ing DJ Tira and his wife, Gugu Khathi. “Since mu­sic is all I think and talk about, I was sit­ting next to Sis Gugu and was telling her about my pas­sion for mu­sic,” she adds.

The con­ver­sa­tion ended with her grab­bing the mic and per­form­ing

Pretty Dis­as­ter by Mzansi’s very own Mo­neoa. She knocked it out the park.

“From that night, Sis Gugu said we should keep in touch. Weeks later I was in stu­dio record­ing No­math­emba, a song I wrote from a very deep place in my heart and soul,” she says.

For Retha­bile, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing all the hard­ships in the in­dus­try has given her a glimpse into the re­al­ity of show busi­ness.

“No short­cuts. You need tal­ent, hard work, pa­tience and commitment. If you are not [com­mit­ted], then it means you are not ready,” she adds.

 ??  ?? Retha­bile Khu­malo is de­ter­mine to stay out of the shadow of her mom Win­nie.
Retha­bile Khu­malo is de­ter­mine to stay out of the shadow of her mom Win­nie.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa