Singer Kelly Khumalo says she will no longer settle for anything less than what she deserves. She says she deserves only the good things life has to offer.
Khumalo recently pulled out of the upcoming biopic titled Dream: The Lebo Mathosa Story, based on the life of kwaito star Mathosa, saying: “I know my self-worth.”
This week, she broke her silence about why she was no longer part of the movie, in which she was set to play a leading role.
“I am at a point in my life where I have recognised the importance of representing myself the best way I can possible do,” she told City Press this week.
On Thursday, speaking live on the Metro FM show Lunch with Thomas and Pearl, she alleged that the working conditions on set were questionable and made things difficult for her to deliver a splendid portrayal of the former member of Boom Shaka.
The Qinisela hitmaker added that either the work conditions changed or “we just don’t have the talent”.
She further alleged that the actors were exposed to dirty bathrooms, saying when she complained, she was called a “diva”.
Legend Manqele, owner of The BarLeader, a multimedia film and television company which has partnered with Khumalo to help her reposition her brand identity, agreed that the working conditions on set were of substandard quality.
“Kelly felt that working under these conditions was limiting her ability to honour the talented icon that was Lebo Mathosa and execute a sound performance,” he said.
Manqele, who has produced successful shows such as Dineo’s Diary, season 4; Living the Dream with Somizi, seasons 2 and 3; and Being Bonang, explained that he wanted to rebrand Khumalo as an artist because he valued her talent.
But, he added, his client felt that she was being underrated as an artist.
“She has been served a raw deal as an artist. She is misunderstood and she was surrounded by the wrong crowd. Hence, she made wrong decisions in her life. We are going to make sure that she knows her worth.” .
Khumalo said she was working with Manqele because he understood her vision and where she wanted to be as an artist.
Although I knew I was a great singer, I never took myself and my craft seriously. I was undermining myself as a musician.
Khumalo is scheduled to start shooting a reality show next month.
In this regard, Manqele said it was about time Khumalo told her story on TV screens with her own voice.
“The show will air early next year and many people are going to witness her trials and tribulations. She is ready to forgive and to move on with her life. Kelly has been a victim of silence, be it about her work or relationships, and her show will give her a platform to speak out,” he said.
A song that changed my life
On Friday, Khumalo released her latest single Undithatha Kancinci, but said she was not in a good space emotionally, mentally and spiritually when she wrote the lyrics.
In her latest offering, she sings of how she has been belittled and undermined by society.
The bubbly actress said she had to be honest with herself on what she was feeling and going through when she wrote the song.
“I wrote it on a day when I realised that all these years as a musician, I had been overlooking my gift. Although I knew I was a great singer, I never took myself and my craft seriously. I was undermining myself as a musician.”
If you underestimate yourself, the world will do the same
The mother of two added that Undithatha Kancinci had helped her regain her sense of self-worth.
“How we see ourselves determines how society sees us. If you underestimate yourself, the world will do the same. So, it is important to take pride in who you are.”
Khumalo believes the song is the best she has to offer as she has given it her all. She worked on it with seasoned jazz pianist Nduduzo Makhathini, hit songwriter Msaki and producer Batundi.
“This is the first time I have worked with more than one person on a song. It shows that I am taking my music career to another level. I know my worth and, most importantly, I am claiming my crown,” she smiled.
Khumalo confirmed her marriage to rapper Chad Da Don had been dissolved and said she was enjoying being single and happy.
“There is nothing like a woman who leaves a relationship to be with herself,” she said.