Pearl Thusi has revealed that she was originally a contender for the 2015 South African of The Year .
Khabonina Quebeka celebrated her 31st birthday far from home this year in Nelspruit.
“For the past ten years I have used my birthday as an occasion to provide a platform for new talent to showcase themselves,” said Quebeka. “And I decided that it was time to spread my wings into other provinces and Limpopo was it.”
“I contacted a local radio station Ligwalagwala FM and asked them to mention that I was coming to town, and if anyone was interested in joining me on stage, and that they should send their details to me via Twitter or facebook.”
Quebeka was inundated with applications, selected a few and asked them to join her for auditions on the day prior to the show.
“After watching the auditions, I selected those that would be stage ready after a bit of grooming.
“I held workshops and gave them advice about how to conduct themselves on stage.”
With the talent in place, the party was ready to get started. So what was the highlight of her evening?
“Apart from being serenaded by a young man who sang that he wanted me, the most magical part of my birthday was listening to Khanyi who opened the evenings event for me singing a jazz number.”
Qubeka had been told about a young girl in the townships who sang like Judith Sephuma and she just knew that she had to find and include her at the event.
“What a talent. I nearly cried when I heard her perform. She was incredible.”
Qubeka said that it was really different performing and sharing her birthday in Limpopo. “I felt genuine love and appreciation for me as a person and not just as an artist.”
Cutting her ‘Khabodacious’ cake, she gave thanks for the year that has passed and the one ahead.
When asked what she is currently up to, apart from planning her next birthday to be held in Bloemfontein she said: “Well the dance studio is doing extremely well since we moved into bigger premises with more parking. We have even had some celebrities such as Lira and Pabi Moloi shaking their booties with us.
“I am also involved with a reader/education programme. I go to schools and encourage youngsters to read. I am about to incentivize them further by creating Book Club Awards where I will give them prizes for reading the most books.
“Looking forward, I am considering taking my choreography skills into the international environment... give a bit of an African feel to music video’s and shows worldwide.”
At the age of 31, Qubeka feels that she should be settled by now and in a steady relationship.
“I have a good feeling that this might be the year that I find love.
“Usher is coming to town and he is single at the moment. I am going to go to his concert and cheer him on – maybe offer some help with moves to his dance crew.”
Keen on the possibility she added: “I will be professional, not wear sexy clothing and promise not to touch his abs.”
“I have always admired Usher as an artist. He has a level of honesty, is always professional - plus he knows how to look after that body.”
Qubeka also respects that Usher mentors young talent such as Justin Bieber.
“Performing is not just about a voice. It is the whole package – good hair, great outfit, music, sound, lights and dance. It is not just a show it must be an experience.”
Asked if she has bought her Usher concert tickets yet she said: “Oh give me a break. I have just spent my last pennies on my birthday celebration.
“I need a gig quick so that I can afford them!”