Despite people mocking her for her apparently patchy general knowledge after she admitted she didn’t know who Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was, newly famous Wololo hit-maker and dancer, Bongekile ‘Babes Wodumo’ Simelane seems to know exactly what she wants with her music career.
‘People will judge me because I go to clubs and I’m a pastor’s child, but I always tell them that I saw their children at a club while I was performing,.’
“People don’t know where my blessings come from,” she says. “I didn’t expect such an achievement nor did I plan that I would be this successful. My secret to success, which people know nothing about, is that I pray a lot as a pastor’s child and I pay my tithe.”
Wodumo says although she didn’t anticipate that she would rise to fame so quickly, she is doing her best to ensure she makes a success of herself.
“I was not planning on doing an album, but people say they want to pre-order my album, so because I have songs already with West Ink and Big Nuz, that won’t be a problem,” she explains, indicating she actually didn’t want to work on an album so soon in her music journey.
“I don’t want it to be because I have one famous song. I think I can now do an album, and we are on top of it. December will not arrive without my album out there,” she stresses.
Wodumo, who says people often judge her harshly and call her a “ratchet girl”, says she has the full support of her pastor father and her mother.
“People will judge me because I go to clubs and I’m a pastor’s child, but I always tell them that I saw their children at a club while I was performing,” she says with a laugh.
“My parents are very supportive of what I do. My dad understands that I cannot get on stage and dance in a long dress, and I need to do what needs to be done to get on with my work,” she says, adding there is often also a confusion surrounding her stage name.
“My parents usually call me Babes, but I got ‘Wodumo’ [meaning popular] from people in Durban because I used to do modelling, singing and every other thing and got very popular in our area. Unlike what people think, my name simply means a famous person,” she explains.
“My agent allowed me to do modelling, acting, music and dancing, so that is why I’m able to squeeze myself into any craft,” she adds, explaining how she got to now being part of the SABC 1 sitcom called My Perfect Family.
“It’s scary being part of a sitcom, but I told myself that I need to get used to the idea,” she says.
The 23-year-old says although her father is a man of the cloth, she feels that is not her path and she has her own track to follow.
“I’m a pastor’s child, but I’m not a pastor. If your dad is a police officer, you don’t go around arresting people, so it’s the same for me; I can’t go around carrying a bible. My mom and dad were
called by God for that, but not me,” she says.
“I still believe in God. I understand God. God knows I love him, and I love to dance,” she adds. Babes explains that being a pastor’s child and a musician and dancer doesn’t make her any less of a believer.
Wodumo says her passion for music and performing in general started at a very young age when she became a huge fan of legendary artists Lebo Mathosa and Brenda Fassie.
“I would watch Lebo and Brenda, and notice how true they were to themselves and crazy just like me, and it would surprise me how similar I was to them,” she says.
The artist points out that despite what people say about her, she will not rush into fame or let it excite her too much. “I’m relaxed. It’s nice to be alive,” she states.