A documentary about singer-songwriter, dance queen and gqom star Busiswa Gqulu, titled Busiswa: An Unbreakable Story, is set to premiere at this year’s Africa Rising International Film Festival, taking place at the Newtown Precinct in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
The annual festival, which aims to raise awareness about African cinema, runs until November 30.
Speaking to City Press ahead of the event, Gqulu said she was excited to share her inspiring story with her fans, who often asked her how she had attained success as an artist.
“I am confident that my story will inspire people about how I became a successful musician,” she said.
Narrated by the singer herself, the biopic takes us on her personal journey, starting from her childhood in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape and showcasing how she chased her dreams to become the boisterous singer she is today.
But her rise to stardom was fraught with difficulties, as Gqulu relates, and she had to take odd jobs to survive.
At one point, she did not have anywhere to stay and squatted at a friend’s place.
Viewers will see how Gqulu then became a university dropout after struggling to raise her study fees.
“In the film, I am being honest. I was in a comfortable space to speak my truth. But more than anything, I am inspiring people not to give up on their dreams, irrespective of their backgrounds. They must always know that their dreams are valid and that nothing is impossible, especially if you work hard.”
The singer described the documentary as “the past, present and future”.
She added that, too often, people in the public eye were misunderstood.
This had prompted her decision to tell her story in her own voice.
Asked if she would consider shooting a reality show, the mother of one said she would not allow herself to be followed by cameras.
“I would never do a reality show; it is too invasive.”
In September, it was alleged that she was physically abused by her baby dad, Katlego “DJ Kaygee” Mlangeni.
Gqulu has yet to comment on the allegations.
When asked whether she would shed some light on her alleged abuse in the film, she merely said: “Just watch the film on Wednesday.”
Festival co-founder Ayanda Sithebe said the focus of this year’s event was on inclusion, adding: “We are thrilled to have a story about a powerful woman, who is changing the game in more ways than one, lead our opening night.”