Bekezela

From bartender to celebrated muso

Langalakhe Mabena
The script of his self-titled music video, probably one of this year’s best Afro-soul festive hits, is based on a true life story with experiences that Bothwell “Bekezela” Nkomo encountered when he arrived in South Africa’s city of gold.

Bekezela, who signed with one of South Africa’s established music stables, Mutherland Entertainment in August, which is also home to Jazz sensations Nathi Mankayi, Ntando Bangani and Vusi Nova, is grateful to be signed under the stable, although he admits that it took  patience to clinch such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. As his stage name suggests, patience is a virtue.

When he left Zimbabwe in 2008, Bekezela crossed the Limpopo with a dream of becoming a massive superstar.

However, as life is not scripted, the Gwanda-born Jazzman explains true life events he experienced which inspired his musical video which has since reached over 30 000 views on YouTube.

“I relocated to South Africa during the economic crisis in Zimbabwe in 2007. I thought on arrival in the neighbouring country everything will flow as I planned,” said Bekezela.

Like the scenes which are portrayed on the video which was shot in KwaZulu Natal and Johannesburg with another Zimbo socialite Mbo Mahocs featuring as Bekezela’s soulmate, the soft-spoken guitarist admitted he once worked as a bar tender and later on as a brick layer in a construction company.

“As a way of trying to earn a living, I worked as a bar tender, when I was off, I reported for work and performed at the bar, in exchange well-wishers gave me money as a token of appreciation for my work on stage,” Bekezela said.

With all the love and appreciation he has received in South Africa gracing big stages like the Moshito Music Festival where he performed alongside his inspiration Ringo Madlingozi in September, the local jazzman has also received love from his home town, Bulawayo.

Bekezela registered his first nomination ever in his musical books last Friday as he was nominated for Best Afro soul single at the Skyz Metro FM. He is grateful to be considered at the awards even though he is somewhat aggrieved that he only got recognition in his motherland eight years after he released the same song which landed him a nomination.

“I have mixed feelings when it comes to my nomination. I’m grateful I got nominated for the first time with the awards coming from my home town. However, it pains me because I released the song Bekezela eight years ago but people didn’t appreciate my music,” Bekezela said.