Zodwa Wabantu, who has had a meteoric rise to fame during the past year with the showbiz spotlight shining brightly on her, wants to bask in that glory for as long as possible without being controlled and changing her persona.
Born in Soweto and based in Durban, the entertainer (real name Rebecca Zodwa Libram) was in Bulawayo at the weekend for an appearance at local clubs where she partied and mesmerised fans.
Known for her “leg game” move, Zodwa Wabantu who is a mother of one, an 11-year-old son revealed that despite her livewire persona which has got some labelling her a woman of loose morals, she was terrified of being in a relationship because she believes men are controlling.
“I’m scared of men. I like to be happy and my worry is that if I had a man, he’d probably tell me how I should dress and when I should sleep.
“But what I’m doing now is all about me and what makes me happy. I’m living my life because no one is telling me how to live it. I came alone to earth and I’ll die alone,” said Zodwa Wabantu.
She said being famous was not all rosy as the celeb life comes with hazards. According to her, there are people nagging her saying they want her to become a snob, but she says she will not bow down to them as she wants to remain the simple girl who grew up in Soweto.
“I believe God gave me this fame at the right time as I’m old enough and mature. Some people in society want to change me as they feel I should stop drinking Savanna and instead drink premium brands like Ciroc, Hennessey.
“They’ve also suggested that I change my hairstyle from short hair to Peruvian or Brazilian and start acting like a diva. They also want me to start using makeup frequently. But I won’t do any of that because I’m loyal to people who follow me as they’re the ones who made me famous.
They’re the ones who can relate to who Zodwa is and that Zodwa as a brand wants to show others that they can be anything in life,” she said.
“I want them to know that I use Vaseline unlike faking it to seem like the Zodwa who uses expensive lotions. People shouldn’t change.
The Mzansi socialite said she never thought she would be famous, especially considering that she failed her Matric and looked for a waitressing job in Johannesburg to try and raise funds to enrol for an alternative course.
“When I was 18 years old, I got a waitressing job just after I had failed my Matric. I did this for two years and saved up for a short course at Cornerstone for debt collectors. I was then hired as a debt counsellor,” said Zodwa. After working as a debt collector for four years, Zodwa said she travelled to UMlazi, Durban and like any other person in the beach city which is always a hive of activity, she frequently attended parties.
“When I was in Durban, I really minded my own business. After pay day though, I’d definitely take myself out. Since I was not from Durban, I’d go out alone as I didn’t have friends and dance the night away.
“Interestingly people would observe me each time I went out and start inquiring who this girl who goes out on her own, buys her own drinks and dances so well was. In our black communities, we’re told that women have to act in a certain way, but I just did me, something which got people talking.”
All it took for Zodwa to be famous was one video of her dancing at a popular spot in Durban called Eyadini during a night out.
“I used to frequent a lounge called Eyadini and someone happened to record me dancing. The video of me dancing with my Savanna bottle went viral and got a lot of people talking. From then, life hasn’t been the same as people started approaching me asking to promote me and I’ve been getting endorsement deals from various corporates,” she said.
DJ Tira’s Afrotainment stable was quick to appreciate Zodwa’s passion for dancing and took her on board to boost her talent by getting her various gigs in and out of South Africa. A Durban July invite from the stable also further boosted her career as her sassy outfit got more people talking and earned her more followers.