'I can finally pay my autistic son's school fees': Thembeka's joy as beautiful new video for Brave is released

By Shanaaz Prince
12 August 2016

It's hard to believe the vivacious young star was once jobless and on the verge of being on the streets.

Thanks to her powerhouse voice, Thembeka Mnguni's now booking gigs left, right and centre -- and she couldn't be happier.

"I keep laughing because I can't believe that all of this is happening to me," The Voice SA finalist gushes. "It's all very exciting and I'm very happy."

Read more: Incredible news for The Voice contestants! The songstress released the video for her single, Brave, under Universal Music with whom she signed earlier this year. Her fast-growing career means not only success for Thembeka (33), but for her five-year-old autistic son, Sabelo, too.

Some quality time with my amazing son. ... I love him so much

A photo posted by Thembeka Mnguni (@thembeka_thediva) on

"I sit and cry sometimes, because I can't believe that God picked me to do this. It's amazing that I don't have to pick up the phone and call my manager to ask 'what gigs do we have?' because we are inundated with calls for jobs and gigs, it's been such a blessing," she says.

"Most of all, I'm glad that I am now able to pay my son's school fees. He is doing so well at his autistic school and I don't have the worry I had before, it's all coming together."

Thembeka released her first music video for her single, Brave, today. PHOTO: Supplied Thembeka released her first music video for her single, Brave, today. PHOTO: Supplied

The Voice SA is in fact what got her back into her lane. After a promising start to her singing career with a part in a musical that toured the Far East, life didn’t go as planned and several hard knocks saw Thembeka give up on a career in music and work as a recruitment specialist instead.

But then a friend persuaded her to try out for The Voice SA and she used the last bit of money she had – all of R13 – to take a taxi to the auditions.

Read more: Ashton Kutcher shares The Voice SA contestant's video on Facebook

She couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate song than Alicia Keys’ Brand New Me for the blind auditions, during which contestants sing while the judges’ chairs face away from them. And her heartfelt had judge Karen Zoid turning her chair around 15 seconds after she started singing.

Legions of fans have joined Karen in Thembeka’s camp – and her success is all the more heartwarming when you hear just how full of potholes her road to The Voice’s stage has been.

Thembeka didn't win the main prize -- the honour went to Richard Stirton -- Universal Music South Africa wasn't going to let her get away.

The record label announced they were offering Thembeka and fellow finalist Zoë Modiga record deals of their own soon after the show ended.

So now that her dream has finally come true, what was the highlight of her music video experience?

"I think the fact that I had my own dancers behind me and the smoke machines, it was all so amazing and surreal," she says.

What do you think of Thembeka's new video? Have your say on our Facebook page.

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