Wed Jul 26 06:33:53 SAST 2017

'I grew up with absent parents' - Thami Shobede

By Lesley Mofokeng Entertainment Editor | 2017-05-13 07:43:46.0

Idols SA runner-up Thami Shobede has opened up his old wounds and pain to touch young lives. Before he got on the glitzy Idols stage, Shobede had a rough childhood of absent parents. His mother Mantombi Buthelezi lived and worked in Johannesburg, as did his father Musa.

"They had no responsibility over me growing up. I would go for long periods without seeing my mother, even up to three years. My relationship with my father was distant, we didn't even talk much.

"Other family members had to step in. I had three aunts and my uncle and his wife I would live with. Some times I would move in with people who are friends with a member of my family, and that has been like that for most of my life."

Shobede said the lack of parental care and love and peer pressure did not lead him astray. And that's the message he's taking on his current school tour in Mpumalanga, which will extend to other provinces at a later stage.

"I didn't have the best upbringing. One of the things that have made me successful in chasing my goals has always been staying on the move, running with what I believe in and making sure that no pressure from my peers or temptation to do crime hinder me from getting to where I wanna go.

"A lot of people turn to crime and blame the absence of one of their parents on their inability to make the right choices. I did not have my mother and father around when I was growing up, but that has never been any reason to make bad decisions. It never influenced me from wanting to be a star."

Shobede said his relationship with his mother has since improved. "My father is late, but my mother is still around. I love her. She takes care of me and I take care of her, she's the centre of my life. She supports all I do and attends my performances."

Shobede said youth development was close to his heart and so he has started motivating young people with his motivational talks.

"I teamed up with Team Freshmilk, the people who showed me so much love on Idols, and a bunch of my friends from a small media company called Dare 2 Dream, alongside my own media company called Bluenta Media, which does events and manages music projects that are going to come out some time in the year.

"I have been blessed enough to be South Africa's Idols runner-up, [and] a servant of the country in the South African National Defence Force SANDF."

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