In 2008 Bothwell Bekezela Nkomo left Zimbabwe for SA with just a dream to make it as a musician. “I left Bulawayo to follow my dream. I knew South Africa was the best place for me to build my career and for me to make a name for myself.” He came to Mzansi as part of a group but after six months they all went their separate ways, some went back to Zim while others followed solo careers.
After the split Bekezela moved in with his brother in Alexandra township and found a job as a cleaner at a hotel in Berea.
“I made about R200 a week as a cleaner and I made the most out of the little I had,” he says. Although he knew music was his ticket to success, he continued working and recording music. “I recorded music at night and would write songs during the day,” he says.
The name Bekezela means patience in isiZulu and he certainly lived up to it over the years. After a few years working as a cleaner, Bekezela got a job as a waiter at News Café in Sandton. He used his salary to move into a flat and to record a demo album. He recorded a song titled Bekezela, dedicated to his girlfriend back home and the song received radio airplay.
“That song was dedicated my woman who was all the way in Zim while I was in Joburg. I wanted her to remain patient with me and my dream,” he says.
When the higher-ups at major record company Muthaland Entertainment heard his song on the radio they couldn’t wait to sign the Afro-soul singer. “I couldn’t believe that the same company that had signed Nathi Mankayi and Vusi Nova wanted to work with me,” he says.
His self-titled album is out now and Bekezela can proudly say his resilience and patience has paid off.