Thread: so I stopped by for lunch at the restaurant where I used to work as a waiter…
Despite having a hit song that was playlisted by at least 4 national radios and very popular underground #Bekezela, I found myself at the doorstep of this gigantic restaurant in Sandton asking for a job.
I had no prior background in the hospitality industry I was just hunger driven and frustrated. I remember speaking to God and telling him that if ever he wanted me back in the music game he will give me a sign and that for that moment I was hanging my guitar.
So I was trained for a week and after a 3-hour entry test, I started my new job as a waiter. There was no basic salary just tips that were taxed through daily taxation called breakage and it was R60. I would go home with as little as R200 on a busy Friday.
I had to learn the ropes quickly by asking the senior waiters, I learnt to be a great judge of character and to humble myself in front of rude customers who refused to tip thinking I had a salary. I also learned how to save up by playing stokvels.
Sometimes I missed on character judging and would end up with a walkout. Some days were good yet the music followed me around. I would sing for customers celebrating birthdays or farewells and soon my fellow waiters called me umculi and would swop tables.
With me if a celebrity walked in just so I could sing for them or introduce myself with the hope that they would give me a deal. Some of those were;
to name but a few
After working for a year, I got a call that would change my life. I was woken up by a call at 11 am I had done a double shift and I was zombified. I answered half asleep and the voice on the other ended calmly asked if I was Bekezela. I could hear my song playing in the background and thought it was just another fan calling to tell me how excited they were to hear my voice on radio and boy was I tired of those. So I sheepishly confirmed it was I Bekezela. He asked me which record label I was signed to.
To which I answered none. He seemed surprised and immediately asked for a meeting to which I turned him down. As amazed as he was, he asked why I was turning him down and I replied I had a shift that evening at the restaurant @NewsCafeSandton.
He asked or me to see him without fail on my off day. So asked him who he was and he calmly said “I’m Sipho Nyathela, Nathi’s manager @Muthaland_Ent“, now Nathi was super hot at the time and he had just released #Nomvula
quickly jumped out of bed and I knelt down and prayed to God not to wakee up from this splendid dream. And so on my off day I went to their offices and was introduced to @lancestehr who quickly took me on a ride as we listened to my Album that had #Bekezela
According to Sipho they had heard my song in Tembisa and wanted me rerecord it seeing I had done it in 2011 and had possibly lost the data files. So I called my producer #papynsenga I asked to do a full album instead to which they objected because of the time frame of 2 weeks that they had given me at work. However, in just 3 days, myself and #Papy had programmed 10 new songs from his home studio to which Lance appreciated and booked us a proper bigger studio and a full band. In a week I was done.
That’s just how ready I was. Before I knew it I was now doing an interview with @HotspotSeli in my waitron uniform. The day of my listening session I was dressed in my waitron uniform serving the guests. Some of them were rude to me all throughout until in the end Lance said;
“before I reveal the star of the evening, maybe I need another drink”
and everyone turned to me the stupid waiter who was mixing up their orders as they seemed to say hurry up and give Lance his drink so we can see the star
So I poured him a drink and took it over to him, and he said “ladies and gentlemen behold the star of the album, #Bekezela” some cried while others tore the apron off of me and said welcome to the industry this does not suit you anymore
So I headlined my first international festivals with my idols. My album was available nationwide and I began touring with @Ntando_Official and @VusiNova, giants I had never dreamt of meeting let alone share stage with.
I started performing for thousands of people and my biggest highlight was the #Buyelekhaya festival in East London. I had never seen so many people I actually got dizzy…i toured Africa at large to roaring crowds and I had just moved from #waitertotheworld.
Television became the order of the day…
— Bekezelamusic (@Bekezelamusic) September 14, 2020