SOUTH African musician Thami Shobede cannot wait to perform in Lesotho and one of the reasons is that he wants a traditional blanket.
If no one gives him one when he performs at the Lesotho Times Fanfest scheduled for 3 November 2018 at Setsoto Stadium, in Maseru, then he will buy one. At least that is according to the soulful singer.
Thami is currently highflying on the back of the success of his second album titled name is Never Lost with the hit single Night and Day released in July 2017.
The singer told the Weekender this week that he was excited about his forthcoming performance where he will share the stage with numerous seasoned performers among them the Village Pope Tsepo Tshola, Zimbabwean Oliver Mtukudzi, fellow compatriots Lady Zamar, Nasty C and AKA among several other artistes.
“To play with Oliver Mtukudzi is mind blowing,” Thami said yesterday.
“I have been to Lesotho before with the Idols team and I fell in love with the place and I am definitely going to get a blanket. If I do not get one as a present then I have to buy one. Whatever colour I get, I am going to get a blanket because I promised myself that I would get a blanket each time I go to Lesotho.
“I am also excited about performing alongside Amanda Black who is amazing. She is so talented and I am honoured. This is the first time that we are actually performing on the same stage. There are also artistes like Kwesta so I cannot wait.”
Thami said his inclusion on the line-up of the event organised event planners Plan A is also a sign of his growth after stepping out of the shadows of Idols, the show that brought him to the limelight in 2016 when he came out second.
While he settled for second to Noma Khumalo that year, the singer had in the previous season of the show been eliminated in the top 16. He told the Weekender yesterday that he auditioned for the first competition in 2005 when he was 16. He persevered auditioning for a further five times until he came to the brink of glory in 2016 at 28.
He showered praises on the talent search programme and said every budding artiste who makes it beyond the auditions would have won because the experience in front of the judges “is worth it even when they say no”.
“I have not watched the current season of Idols but I was happy to hear that one of the contestants who happens to sound like me actually says I am his inspiration. I would want to wish every contestant in the current edition the best of luck and they should know that it is all worth it even when they say no.
“They (contestants) are all winners whatever happens.”
He said growing up, he was never content with remaining stagnant in all he did. To confirm the assertion, the singer enrolled for army training in 2010 but left the force just two years later when he joined freight company Transnet.
However, while he was still in the army, he told one of his friends who is still serving that he saw himself in the showbiz industry.
“I used to be so fond of the limelight even when it was just for a moment. I remember I used to abscond from work just to be an extra for a soap like Generations or Isibaya. I would use R100 for transport even when I would be paid just M180 for such an appearance and would send people WhatsApp messages alerting them that I would be appearing in a certain scene.
“I also remember telling my friend that I would be in the showbiz somehow. Even when I was in the army I knew it was not going to be my everlasting love.”
Thami (30) is the first of three children and has two sisters. He grew up in KwaNomathiya Village Mtubatuba in the KwaZulu Natal province of South Africa close to Richards’ Bay.
Among his milestones is his South African Music Awards nomination this year which he says was made more exciting when the nomination was announced on 19 April this year which is his birthday.
Idols fans call him Fresh Milk, a name that came from one of the judges, Somizi Mhlongo who said after a spirited performance of Nick Jonas’ Jealous in 2015 “You sound like fresh milk”.