SA 'Susan Boyle' rocks Randall

2010-09-30 22:52
James Bhemgee (45) of Rocklands moved the judges. (Photo supplied)

James Bhemgee (45) of Rocklands moved the judges. (Photo supplied)

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Cape Town - "Of all the singers we've heard over the past two years, so far, you're the best." This was the feedback of Randall Abrahams, judge of SA’s Got Talent on SABC2, to 45-year-old James Bhemgee on Thursday night.

Bhemgee, who started working for the Cape Town city council as a refuse collector at the age of 15, was discovered in 1989 when Angelique Fuhr heard him singing in her street in Mowbray.

She became his fairy godmother and ensured that he receive training in singing, Bhemgee said.

He went on to study at the University of Cape Town's opera school and eventually went overseas.

Bhemgee is currently unemployed, single, and lives in Rocklands along with his six children. He decided to take part in the competition this year because he is proudly South African.

The tenor mesmerised the audience and the judges with his rendition of the Josh Groban song, Giro Con Me, for which he received a standing ovation.

"I wasn't nervous when I started singing, but in the last few seconds, when the audience stood up and applauded, I did become a little nervous," he said.

He was so touched by the applause that he almost started crying, Bhemgee said.

In 1996 he resigned as street sweeper from the city council to pursue a singing career overseas.

"I did freelance performances in America, England and Germany, and I also received musical training."

Bhemgee told how his sponsors, who had given him the chance to sing overseas, decided he had undergone enough training and it was time to start his career.

"That also motivated me to enter the competition."
Read more on:    randall abrahams  |  music
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