Hometown: Port Elizabeth
Thabisa seemed to be destined for stardom at an early age, when a neighbour started calling her “Brenda Fassie” because she was so loud.
She also knows a thing or two about being a role model already, having toured schools in the Port St Johns area with her band, “motivating kids not to give up on the dreams and teachers to be interested in their kids talents and skills”, she recalls.
“We also performed on the streets in town as our charity to the public to give them good music and vibes.” It was a hard life at times – “sleeping on my friends stoop out in the freezing weather is a memory I can’t seem to forget,” she admits.
She credits her late grandfather with giving her the strength to endure. “He was my hero, and still is in many ways,” she says. “He just taught me endurance, respect and instilled that sense of independence before I knew what that meant.”