Mbulelo Mpofu, Showbiz Reporter
ONCE upon a time in Mkhosana in the tourism city of Victoria Falls, there lived a young boy whose vocal abilities were far beyond his age and TikTok had no choice but to endorse him.
The boy’s talent was noticed by renowned artistes from across the borders and landed him a collaboration with South African artiste Aubrey Qwana.
He also celebrated his 13th birthday in style a few days ago as South African DJ Maphorisa gave him a call, congratulating him on his graduation to teenagehood.
He also explicitly said he was on a mission to work with him.
Guess who this boy is! You guessed right. It’s Andrea Sibanda aka Andrea The Vocalist.
Son to Ntando Sibanda and Sanelisiwe Ncube, Andrea The Vocalist is the second born of four children and sure personification of the phrase, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” as both his parents also sing at church.
Andrea’s family is a closely-knit one with the firstborn being Sithandazile followed by Andrea himself and Sikhulekile and Michael making up the quartet of children at the Sibanda yard.
Chronicle Showbiz this week tracked down Andrea The Vocalist and his parents to find out how the journey started before the spate with “the punishment” led to him singing at church and gaining celebrity status overnight.
OK, “the punishment” is an allusion to what happened one day when Andrea and his quartet of friends decided to play truant at church and instead go on a gathering spree of umkojompo, a wild fruit, a few hundred metres away from the homestead where the service was.
When they returned, the pastor in charge of the day’s proceedings decided to punish the boys by making each of them sing in front of the congregation.
Andrea sang the popular Uhambo song that melted everyone’s heart and voila, a video of his performance was plastered all over social media and he would go viral within weeks.
Andrea’s mother Sanelisiwe Ncube recollects the time when Andrea was just five years and the signs of a star being born shining in the family.
“When he was just five, he would sing a lot and no matter how hard we tried to shut him up, he would still do it. To us, that was a sign that something was brewing and it was only a matter of time before the talent would mature.
Even at church, people saw talent in his vocal capabilities,” she said.
If it was America, then we would have probably seen Andrea try his luck with talent shows such as America’s Got Talent or American Idol but then, his safe haven has been his local place of worship, the Twelve Apostles Church.
It’s not every day where you see or read about a Grade 7 pupil being a national, let alone regional star, but Andrea ticked that box when he was finishing his primary education at Chinotimba Primary School last year.
A lot of things about Andrea have been written before and that includes his desire to take up law studies when he grows up, but did you know that complementary to his musical career, Andrea is a budding footballer plying his trade for a local–based club, 12 Stars where he spends most of his time sharpening his footballing skills?
He is a midfield anchorman, striving to be one of the best footballers if “God permits” and is a staunch fan of Manchester City’s Kevin de Bryne. But music is his first love and you know what they say about first cuts and depths right?
So is the case with Andrea who has become an overnight success, reiterating the power of social media in moving art forward.
Andrea is in the school choir and also one of the trusted singers at the Twelve Apostles Church, a feat that shows his vocal pedigree even at such a tender age.
The youngster who is inspired by South African duo Blaq Diamond could follow in the footsteps of another vocalist, Mlindo the Vocalist in being signed by DJ Maphorisa’s stable which also houses fellow Zimbabwean Shasha, Bontle Smith and Mas Musiq.
After the express mission of DJ Maphorisa trying to locate Andrea, people have expressed their concern with regards to “extortion” but those fears have been subdued as South Africa-based Zimbabwean producer Tendai Joe of J Bros Entertainment is managing Andrea to make sure he develops his music talent and also offer legal protection.
In music, there are issues to do with contractual obligations, payment of royalties and share ownership of projects and these need someone knowledgeable to handle these intricate details and clauses to ensure a win-win situation for both parties involved.
So, with the spotlight on the 13-year-old, how will he balance his school work and music? His mother had a ready response to that.
“We’ll be hands-on helping Andrea fulfil his dreams, but everyone knows that he needs the education to have a bright future.
In as much as he loves music, he’ll have to balance that with his studies and the plan is to practise, compose and rehearse music during weekends while studies will be reserved for the weekdays
“He’ll need all the help he can get and we (my husband and I) are here to give it to him always.
Fame can be catastrophic for one so young and we’ll pull out all the stops to make sure that he grows mentally and is ready to embrace and manage the fame coming his way,” she said.
Andrea’s parents said that they are leaving everything in God’s hands when asked about what the future holds for their son.
They had a message for parents out there with children who have the talent of Andrea’s calibre.
“We believe that it’s every parent’s responsibility to identify their children’s talents and capabilities at a tender age with the intent of nurturing it. Parents need to encourage their children to become whatever they want to be in life and that will steer their children forward.”
The world is closely monitoring the situation between DJ Maphorisa and Andrea The Vocalist.
Are we going to hear Andrea’s voice on an Amapiano song soon? Only time will tell. – @eMKlass_49
Article Source: The Chronicle