Bongekile Simelane, popularly known as Babes Wodumo sang and danced her way into our hearts with her hit single Wololo featuring Mampintsha. A celebrated carefree township qgom queen, she is also an ambitious, career-focused young woman. We chat to her.
By: Fundiswa Nkwanyana
1.How did your childhood shape who you are today?
I grew up in a religious family in Lamontville. My weekdays were spent in school and Saturdays dancing with friends. Sundays were strictly for church with my father. My childhood was full of fun, and that is who I am today.
2. What is qgom music?
Qgom music is a contagious, catchy, bass-driven fast beat that moves people to dance, even if they don’t want to. I love it!
3. How has your road to fame been?
From the beginning, I knew that my love for dance and music was going to help me reach my dreams. I knew where I was going, but never imagined that my music and dance would be appreciated this much. I still get shocked by how star-struck people behave when they see me; it can be overwhelming at times. This fame has humbled me, because it means people appreciate my hard work.
4. What are you working on at the moment?
I am busy promoting Wololo, and performing across the country. I am also discussing the possibility of an album with my management.
5. South Africa is celebrating women’s month; what do you love about being a woman?
I love that as a woman, I can change the stereotypes that society holds about us. Most people think that women who dance like me are stupid, and people often underestimate me. I’m a career-focused young woman; I am innovative and ambitious. I have big plans for myself and my community.
6. What is your advice for young people who want to follow in your footsteps?
Young people need to understand that nothing in this life comes easy; you need to work hard and never give up. We all have different talents that we can make a living from.
7. What keeps you motivated?
Prayer keeps me motivated, because I believe in God’s grace. My father is a priest, so I witnessed the power of prayer from an early age.
And of course, here’s the song we can’t get enough of.