Q&A WITH THAMI SHOBEDE
By: Nosipho Ntombela
South Afrcian Idols fans will remember Thami Shobede (27), a guy who got four yeses on his first Johannesburg audition for Idols Season 11.
Shobede’s improvement has now secured a spot for him in the top 16. His key to this category superceding the judge’s expectations when he sang Nick Jonas’s Jealous in his solo auditions at Sun City. “You are fresh milk!” Somizi Mhlongo exclaimed. Shobede spoke with Journalismiziko about his life.
Who is Thami outside Idols?
• Outside the #IdolsThami, I am still the same humble, kind, vision-driven soldier. The only
thing I have not deeply shared is that behind my strong vision into life and my struggles, I
have a relationship with God. I’m where I am today because he decided it was time for me to
make it. After countless times of trying on Idols since 2005 when I was only 17 years old, I
finally got a chance.
Your inspiration for music?
• I believe that music is a gift and a language that we musicians use to share stories.
Sometimes it’s not a story we associate with, but with our vocal gift we have to share the
message the song comes with.
Why did you decide to audition for Idols?
• I auditioned because I knew that one way or the other, my dreams had to come true. Idols is
the type of platform for the type of musician I have always wanted to be.
Who do you look up to musically?
• I look up to a lot of local musicians like Zakes Bantwini, (Hugh) Masikela, groups like
Micasa and The Soil, and international artists like Anthony Hamilton, Joss Stone, Lemar and
What are you past achievements?
• I play the Scottish bag pipe and ranked as a private in the military. I’m also still busy with a
learnership at Transnet (a railway company) in Johannesburg, where I’m studying to become
Your Future goals are?
• Winning Idols is my first short term goal; in the long term I would like to have three
internationally released albums, get a Billboard nomination and help the world in discovering
more talent especially in South Africa and help them go international. Yes, I’m dreaming big.
I lived in KZN for most of my life and I sometimes feel like some artists are failing to help
possible talent trapped in poverty-stricken rural areas.