MASERU — He is dubbed Lesotho’s very own Michael Jackson.
His loyal fans scream and shout every time he walks onto the stage.
Yet Yasin Seqhobane, 19, is a recent “convert” to the late Jackson’s music.
In an interview with the Weekender this week, Seqhobane says he really never liked Jacko’s music to start with.
But the situation took a dramatic twist two years ago when the King of Pop, as Jackson was affectionately called, died suddenly in June 2009.
“I was never a fan of Michael Jackson. I used to hear about him but never took him seriously.
“I started off as a house music dancer from the early age of eight,” Seqhobane says.
He says around 2005, he joined a dance group called Top Dogs where he perfected the art of dancing.
Seqhobane says the first time he performed for a big crowd was at the Miss PC FM show in 2008.
He says he probably got his passion for dancing from his mother, Ntšali.
“My mother trains Miss PC FM’s contestants and among the routines there are dance choreographs which were very exciting and interesting to dance along,” he says.
“It all started when I was watching the training sessions.”
Three years after that event Seqhobane says he then decided to go solo.
“In 2008 I decided to go solo and create my own dance moves. I wasn’t aware of the theme of my dance until I watched Thriller (an album by the late Jackson) for the first time and realised I was fusing house moves and pop,” he says.
“I was quite impressed and so out of the blue I developed interest in Michael Jackson and started following the life and music of the King of Pop.”
He says Jackson’s death two years ago left him devastated.
After Jacko’s death, he says he decided to take his dancing moves to a higher level.
“I didn’t feel the need to go public until Michael’s death.
“I started emerging as Michael Jackson last year at Mr and Miss Face of Rajoc pageant and from that day on, doors opened,” Seqhobane says.
He says he got his big break when he was lined up to perform at big entertainment events like the Miss Vodacom PC FM beauty pageant.
He says he performed at the show last year and again took part at the pageant last month.
Seqhobane also performed at the Miss Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as the Lesotho Charity Show.
“Looking at where this all began I believe God had destined me for this. It is rare to find stars in countries like Lesotho but I am taking this as a gift from God,” he said.
Seqhobane is currently studying for his Cambridge Overseas School Certificate.
“I want to study music and gain all the necessary skills, perform at bigger events and later pass my gift and talent to other youngsters,” he says.
“I am taking this as a challenge to keep the fire burning even though Michael Jackson is no more. Although it is difficult to keep the swagger, passion keeps me going and through this gift his spirit will live on.”