At first, fans were hurt when they heard that one of their favorite voices from the award-winning group, The Soil, was leaving the group in pursuit of a solo career. I don't know about you guys but I'm not mad about his choice as he now gets to shine as a solo artist.
Like many other celebrities, Samkelo Mdolomba, Soweto born artist, never really had it easy growing up, and if it wasn’t for his love for music that rescued him from streets, he would be in prison today.
Growing up in the streets of Soweto wasn’t easy for Sam and more than once he found himself in trouble with the neighbours, friends and sometimes even family.
In an interview with Sunday World, Sam opened up about his struggles growing up and how spending two and a half months in prison changed his life forever. He and a few of his friends would do crazy things in the streets just to get by and on one particular day, things took a turn for the worst.
Sam and his friends were arrested for armed robbery and they spent more than two months behind bars while awaiting trial.
"My friends and I had a gun and we did some terrible things and we got caught.I was found guilty and I got a suspended sentence because I was a first offender," said Sam.
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The now 29-year-old said that being incarcerated for two-and-a-half months while awaiting trial changed his life. There he got in touch with his spiritual side and said he didn’t have much of a choice because it was either church or joining a gang.
“While behind bars I learned about Christianity because it was either that or joining a gang, I did not want to join a gang because I knew that I did not want to stay long in prison," he said.
He originally dropped out of school in grade 8 but his experience in prison lead him to realise the importance of an education and made him think of how he wanted a better life for his family. One of the reasons that led Sam to join a bad crowd was his epileptic mother. Her illness added to the already existing hardships of life.
"Me and my four siblings did not know how to care for her. It was a struggle that led me to be stressed. I started mixing with the wrong crowd and started taking Mandrax."
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When he got out he started focusing on music and went back to school and eventually completed his matric in 2010 at the age of 22. His matric year unfortunately wasn’t his best year because he had to deal with the constant reminder that he was the eldest student in the school.
"At school I was constantly reminded that I was the oldest. In matric I was that older guy with a beard who sat at the back," explained Sam.
While in high school, Sam joined the acapella group The Soil in which he made music with for over five years.The group then became big and not long after their industry debut, Sam decided to leave the group and go his own way. After leaving The Soil, he started his solo music career and has been writing and singing alone ever since then he has done a number of EPs and also collaborated with other artists.
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His latest work is the hit song Akanamali, in which he is featured by producer and DJ Sun-El Musician.
"I wrote the song last year and worked with Sun-El on it. We only released it in March this year. The song is about people in a relationship and things that are trying to break them apart, such as friends and money. The song is trying to highlight the fact that relationships have become transactional recently," he said.
We won’t be expecting a full on album from him yet but something is definitely in the works.
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Main Image Credit: MusicMagSA.co.za