Becoming a Phoenix: The Kelly Khumalo Story

In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or born again. Associated with the Sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. According to some sources, the phoenix dies in a show of flames and combustion, and according to some texts, the phoenix could live over 1,400 years before rebirth.

There is no better fitting description for this legend in the making actor, presenter, singer and songwriter whose classification can only be apposite to Superstar and Celebrity Royalty. Kelly Khumalo needs no introduction as she’s adored by millions of fans and is famously known for her unstoppable comebacks, thus dubbed the Phoenix of the South African entertainment industry.  This is a woman of note, true inspiration and musical inventiveness who has not just concurred adversities, but has triumphed over a mountain of life challenges. Her career is one of colour and oil on canvas, a true work of art. Award winning is just not enough to label and define who and what Kelly is. 

Kas’lam got to chill with Kelly at the Universal Music offices to chat about her latest hit single and her upcoming project in 2018, as well as “Kelly Khumalo” the brand. 

First of all, we all know you come from Spruitview, and we all know that East Rand is not the land of Milk & Honey?

How does one carve a career from being a nobody in the East Rand to becoming a household name? There is no K-53 or Manual to these things. It’s purely about how determined you are, irrespective of your background. You can be from which ever part of the world. If you have the determination to succeed, then you will succeed. I was always had determination, I really wanted to succeed. I worked hard for it, if fought for it and I’m still working hard for it to reach the level of success I would like to achieve.

What defines Kelly Khumalo? What I’ve seen growing up or even throughout my lifetime is that people are mostly defined by what they have and what they have achieved. For me those are tangible things. At the end of the day people forget about what you have and remember your character and values, because character defines who I am. Being a kind person, being a level-headed person, being approachable and that for me is much more important and what I have and “who I am as Kelly Khumalo”.

For someone who is at home right now, who wants to be like you, what would be your advice to them be and how would you give them the directive? I would never advice anyone to want to be like me or even want to be me. But instead to be better than me by being themselves because for me it’s all about following your dreams, blocking out all the negativity you’d come across, being focused and being yourself. it’s that simple. or is it…? *lol*

We all know you’re no stranger to hits, it’s as if you and Robbie Malinga keep a book that teaches you how to make Hit-songs. Do you think you still have more to offer? I haven’t even begun because this was more like a carpet and its only now that the doors are opening up to the actual success I was destined for. Africa doesn’t know me too well and I feel as if though I am not where I truly want to be because I haven’t reached global status yet. As much as I’ve had so many hits, I feel I haven’t started.

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