‘How Michael Jackson changed my life ’

2009-07-01 00:00

I LOVED dancing as far back as I can remember. My brother and I used to imitate the Soul Brothers and then some of the (I guess) Motown soul singers in the early eighties, but the one artist who changed my life was Michael Jackson.

The thing about Michael Jackson was as soon as you started dancing you were automatically in another world. I do not know how to explain it, but it was an amazing high just doing his dance moves. He’s been a part of my life as an entertainer since the beginning and I am really sad to be writing about a late Michael Jackson, mostly because I spoke to him early this year and was going to write about him and have him read it. He was a Facebook friend who appeared once a few months after I wrote to him and then again some months later.

The first time I danced in front of an audience was our farewell party at Forest Hill (formerly Raisethorpe) Primary School, where I came out of my shell. They needed people who wanted to perform so I put my name down. I was going to do it! Sure enough I gave the DJ Michael Jackson’s Dangerous cassette and as soon as the song came on I shocked everybody, including myself. I danced all over the stage doing random moves and eventually crash-landed on my knees after successive spins like MJ did. It didn’t even hurt like it used to when I practised. I couldn’t look anybody in the eye after that performance but fortunately, it was the last day of school.

In high school I met a better and more structured mini-Michael and that is the most important person I have met. He used to study the choreography in the video and memorise sequence. We did two different versions of the Moonwalk and were really competitive in the beginning. It was pretty incredible. We were the two Michael Jacksons at Carter High until I decided it was not for me. Mhlonipheni Ntshangase and I were once carried on to the stage by the rugby team to promote a weekend game, where we danced to Dangerous in front of the high school. Mhlo also taught us the moves to Thriller and we did it at a talent show. All this and I was shy. We’re now two of the biggest rappers in Pietermaritzburg!

But Michael Jackson had said he was shy too, so that was not an obstacle to living my dream. He was magic. Sadly, he didn’t teach me how to handle fame, but I’ll always remember his words to me: “Thanks, God bless you too. I love u very, very much and always remember that you are special and that I am just a human being but do everything for my fans and they make me so happy … have a great night and i hope this has made u happy … i love u my new friend!”

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