Meet the real Zodwa Wabantu

“Growing up people always told me I would be nothing. I know what I am here for. I knew I had ‘something’ but I didn’t think it would be this big.”

It’s still unbelievable to Zodwa Rebecca Libram that she’s become a household name across Africa. At the beginning of the year, she was working at a debt collection company and getting money after performing at clubs. Before that she was sleeping with men in exchange for money. These days she has Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe talking about her. At 32-years-old, Zodwa’s life has been a rollercoaster and in an exclusive interview with TshisaLIVE, she spoke to us about her life in Soweto, being poor and gaining notoriety.

Known as Zodwa Wabantu, the entertainer described how she was brought up by her grandmother and aunt after her mother died when she was 11-years-old. It was her mom’s death that was a major turning point in her life.

“My mom passed away when I was 11. That is the reason I left home when I was 16. Life was changing and it wasn’t easy. I had to fight for food and I could see then that that isn’t the way life should be. I was asked why I was eating when my cousin’s weren’t.  So I had no choice but to move. I knew I needed to hustle.”

She has never known who her father is and when she left home she had nothing but her ability to live through favours from strangers.

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