‘Party’ time forces Chomee out of school

2009-10-24 14:40

ALL the partying and campaigning for the ANC has caught up with 999 sex goddess Chomee.

This week she made the shock ­admission that she had dropped out of school, and her boss, Arthur ­Mafokate, conceded that working for the ANC during its election ­campaign this year contributed to her ­decision.

“It’s not a good thing. I said I was going to school but I ended up being busy with my career. My studies ­suffered because of that,” she said.

“I am not from a well-off family and I understand the importance of education, especially as an artist. You always need a back-up plan; something to fall back on. I feel bad for people who looked up to me ­because I went back to school, but this is part of the package.”

The 23-year-old singer and dancer was already in her third year of a four-year diploma in media studies at Boston Media House in Sandton, specialising in advertising, public relations and marketing.

Mafokate said: “She is a full-time performer and she never got a break as she toured the country. Her ­itinerary can be so crazy, and she sometimes performs four shows a week.

“Honestly, it’s a risk that she has stopped going to school. Whatever decision you make and how things turn out in the end, you always hope and pray that your gut feel was right. You want to know that when the masses disappear you have something to fall back on.”

Mafokate said Chomee’s dropping out was kept hush-hush because she is seen as a role model.

“If we are seen as promoting non- ­attendance of school, how many ­children are going to drop out of their education?”

The manager said Chomee was desperate to finish her studies when he arranged her a scholarship at the college, and she would have to go back next year to complete her ­studies.

Real name Thuli Madihlaba, Chomee had always maintained that her education came first, but a telephone call to the college is all it took this week to uncover her secret. The last time the musician sat in a classroom was in May.

Mafokate yesterday said “a culmination of several things” including a Vodacom countrywide campaign and the recording of Chomee’s new album – a tribute to Brenda Fassie and Lebo Mathosa – had badly ­affected the singer’s attendance at the college.

“All these things came at the same time, more or less, and it affected her schooling. It’s a bad thing that she has dropped out, but when we sent her to school at the time we didn’t know we would get all these jobs,” said Mafokate, at pains to ­accept the turn of events.

He added: “We have learned our lessons. A career in music is very demanding. I cannot see how you can say Ronaldo must go back to school if he has such a demanding career, has special natural talent and makes enough money to last him a lifetime.

“Of course it’s different here, where fans disappear almost overnight, and Chomee needs something to fall back on. But if she is to prioritise school, then it means her showbiz career is put on hold or dies. It’s never going to be easy to juggle the two. One of the two has to suffer. This time, unfortunately, it was her schooling, but she will complete her diploma next year.”

Ironically, Mafokate himself ­enrolled for a journalism diploma a few years ago, then dropped out.

An official at the college, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Chomee approached them earlier this year asking to be ­excluded from continuing her ­studies.

The musician, who has vowed to go back and complete her diploma, has her own bursary fund she launched ­recently to help those who cannot afford higher education.

“I don’t feel like a failure and I am not a quitter. I regret just a little that I let my studies suffer, but I will be back on top next year.

“We people tend to rush things. I happen to believe that the most ­important thing is to finish what you start. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you; it doesn’t help to rush.”

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