As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the entertainment industry across the world, one fast-rising South African socialite cum dancer is feeling the heat from critics over her career choice.
Rebecca Libram aka Zodwa Wabantu since the outbreak, stifled by the cessation of movement and lockdowns in the continent's largest economy, has been fighting to define her brand amidst roaring criticism that she is heavily dependent on her body for income.
Setting the record straight via her Instagram account, the socialite slammed her detractors saying she has talent, unrivalled anywhere in the southernmost tip of Africa
Wabantu explained that she is proud of her body and has no qualms flaunting her beauty and accentuating it through her gift.
"I don't want to confuse people about who I am as a brand. I'm also not like these celebrities who just want to do anything that is offered to them.
“I know people might think I have no talent, but I know I have talent because how many women have beautiful bodies in Mzansi but can't do what I do? A lot!
“What I do needs talent that only I have, so there's no need for me to try be a DJ or a singer or other things that I have no love for to stay relevant… Stop saying you are tired of my body because it works for me," said Wabantu.
A position that buttressed the 34-year-old’s earlier declaration that naysayers must let her be as she has over the years accumulated wealth courtesy of investments she made.
"When you say you are getting bored with my body talent... I’m very talented! Do you want me to be a DJ? Do you want me to be a singer? Phela all the above I can gladly do now because I have money and these days talent can be bought. I can do it. I can buy it even if I don't know how to do it. So please leave me be, just let me be Zodwa Wabantu and stay in my own lane," added the socialite.
The friction between Wabantu and conservatives in SouthAfrica is not new.
In 2018, at the peak of her fame, propped by her sultry dance moves and legendary performances without panties, Zodwa was the target of trolls following the backlash that her routines were lascivious.
A move that saw gender activists, human rights lawyers and fellow female celebrities rush to her side in support of her craft.
“March is a month to celebrate the success of women. Zodwa is a talented artist who makes a living through dance. Denying her access to do her work because of underwear is a mere violation of her right,” said lawyer Alice Tshuma.
“The problem within Africa is low self-esteem. Zodwa is being victimised but if it was any artists from Holly coming to perform in Africa naked, everyone will be peeping to have a glimpse.”
In a 2019 interview with Channel 24, the mother of one broke down as she narrated to what she has endured in her quest for a better life including being told she’s ugly and constantly reminded that she is not good enough.
“I'm told that I'm ugly. I'm told that I'm not good enough by my society, not my boss and not the people that I work with. So God is like ‘you are my child I will show them’. And he does. I sleep drunk. I travel the whole night, but in the morning, there is money entering my account from people who want to book me. So, you can imagine, I'm sleeping because He knows who I am,” said Wabantu.
Forced out of home at the age of 16, she revealed that her unbeaten path to stardom started in Durban, a coastal city in KwaZulu-Natal.
“I went out because I needed to support myself because I saw that they are forcing me to support myself at a young age.
"At the age of 16, I worked as a toilet lady, giving out tissues to the ladies in a bar called The Rock. Then I ended up being a debt collector and then moving to Durban. And then Zodwa as a whole came,” she added.