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.
M MOTHER OF HOPE
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.