Kelly Khumalo: The tell-all interview you have to read
Kelly Khumalo (Instagram)
Johannesburg- When controversial singer, Kelly Khumalo took to the couch on The Close Up this week, she revealed a side to her many of us have never seen.
From finding her father to nearly losing her soul, here’s what Kelly Khumalo said:
A childhood of abuse
Kelly was raised by her mom and her “father” Titus. Although as a child Kelly says she felt she was more like Titus, he was a very abusive man.
“He had two kinds of personalities. He had a very abusive father, so the only way he knew how to communicate what he felt very strongly about was to be very abusive. He was a very angry person. His level of discipline was so abusive that it's stuck with me even now. I remember his exact words to me as he was beating me up: ‘You are nothing. You will never be anything. You are just a useless thing.'"
Kelly says her mom was not a very confrontational person and would not intervene, but eventually decided that she had had enough and moved out the house with Kelly.
Kelly says in the difficult times she often just listened to music to escape her circumstances.
On Jub Jub: I felt nothing
Kelly made headlines when she started dating rapper Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye, but says she always had her reservations about the relationship.
"I don’t think he was in it (the relationship) for me,” Kelly admits. “It was also about ‘I’m with this it girl’ at the time and maybe it excited me.”
Kelly says she battled to accept the relationship and felt it was a “push-and-pull type of relationship”, where she would often push him away only to forgive him later on.
When the rapper was on trial for killing four school children in a drag race in 2010, Kelly accompanied him to court. But by the time he was convicted, Kelly says the pair had already been separated for about a year.
“I had people calling me to ask if I was okay and I was like, ‘why wouldn’t I be okay?’ When they told me that my child’s father had been sentenced to 25 years I was like, 'Really? Okay. Good for him.'"
"I felt nothing. I’m that kind of person. When I close the door on someone or something, I close it completely,” she adds.
On losing Senzo
Kelly came under fire when it was revealed that she was dating a married man, Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa. But she says whenever the couple went out, it was all about the two of them.
Kelly says the pair were happy together and were relieved to have found someone who understood what it was like being in the spotlight. She says the couple never felt like they were competing for attention because they were both important figures in their own worlds. But when it came to their relationship they tried to forget their celebrity status, and instead focused on the fact that they were two people in love.
It seemed for a time that Kelly had found her true love, but it was taken from her late in 2014 when the goalkeeper was shot in a botched robbery, right in front of her eyes.
“It's very hard to detach from that day because someone so significant in my life passed on. Everything happened so fast, but I still have those pictures. I still have his look. I still feel how he felt in my hands you know, it's very hard to detach from that," Kelly says.
“I keep thinking why would someone do that to such an amazing person who was at his best? He was at the peak of his career. You don’t understand how happy he was. He was extremely happy and comfortable with himself and his life. How can someone steal that away from him, from all of us. I pray that one day they find those people and that justice is served,” she adds.
On finding her real father
Kelly says, as a child, she would sometimes see a taxi driver she only knew as “Uncle Mbatha."
“We would see him maybe once every three months because we would move and he would try and find us and when he found us we would see him more. You know when something is missing and something is wrong. To me it didn’t make sense. I looked a lot like him,” Kelly says.
When Kelly was 16 she confronted her mother about the man and asked if the uncle was her father. Her mother brushed her off, as if she was crazy.
“I went to this uncle because I felt strongly that there was this connection. He did not say no, but said I should ask my mother,” Kelly remembers.
Many years later, and only months after the death of her Senzo, it was confirmed that uncle Mbatha was in fact Kelly’s real father.
“I was very angry with my grandmother and my late aunt because they knew, but no one was bold enough to tell the truth. I can’t even put it into words. It’s like you left by a thread and you can drop at any time and you not sure where you will drop. It leaves you in a place where you are just left hanging and I believe you deserve that stability in your life," an emotional Kelly says.
Kelly acknowledges that her life has been hard but remains optimistic that she can handle anything that will be thrown at her.
“It’s just now that I’ve started to let go of everything, and all the pain, and all the questions, and just accept everything for what they are and just move on,” Kelly says.