She’s stepping into her name. When she was born, her parents named her Naledi, which means star.
And she’s intent on making that prophecy come true.
Artist, actress and producer Naledi Boltina (27) just dropped her single African King featuring Nigerian artist Ice Prince.
She’s always loved music, she tells Drum.
“I went to a boarding school in Grahamstown and took music and drama as my main subjects, so I think that’s where my love for entertainment began.”
She now lives and works in Nigeria and is still excited about her journey.
A star is born
“When my parents named me Naledi, it was almost like a prophecy – that I needed to be a star, so this is me stepping into my purpose and calling.”
She started singing in church in Port Elizabeth, before she became the first Party260 presenter for Nelson Mandela Bay TV station, Bay TV and a radio presenter on both Bay FM and YFM.
“At the age of 17, I received my first big break in the entertainment industry by playing the lead role of Rosa in the SABC short educational film The Lilies. I have also featured in Mnet's Rockville, as well as in Ferguson Films’ hit telenovela, The Gift.”
Since then, she hasn’t stopped knocking on doors in the entertainment industry.
Collaborating with Ice Prince
She went to Nigeria to shoot a Nollywood film and within months, the country went on lockdown.
She’s been missing home, she says, but Nigeria has provided her with some opportunities, especially working with Ice Prince.
“In the time I’ve been here, we were able to create some really good stuff. When I arrived in Lagos and got into the studio, I reached out to him. After a few conversations, and in between challenging schedules, African King was born.
“This song serves as an African take on a fairy-tale love story and a celebration of black love. The title is also heavily influenced by comments I received back home about my move to Nigeria.
“Everyone told me that when I got to Lagos, I would meet my Igwe (king in Nigerian films),” Naledi jokes.
She says the song was born to serve a greater purpose about celebrating black love, but also collaborating with the award-winning Ice Prince was for a greater purpose than just good music.
“It is also a song that is anti-xenophobia and I thought that the one way I can work hand in hand with my brothers and sisters and show them support is by actually collaborating with them.”
Nigeria has given her a gracious welcome. Her song reached over 10 000 plays on Audiomack within days of its release.
Naledi says the collaboration with Ice Prince has brought her an audience she had never imagined having, and she still has a few cards up her sleeves.
“The collaboration has brought a market that I could only pray for and I am already working on new music.”
She wants to connect Africa through music.“I plan on collaborating with a lot more African artists. In Africa at the moment, I would really love to work with the likes of Master KG, Burna and Tiwa Savage,” Naledi says.
“I am currently also working on a song called Senseless with Skuki Va Va Voom that we will release in the next week. Outside of music, I’m also going to feature in some Nollywood movies, so I urge my fans to look out for those.”