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Sikhosana-Village clown to stardom

by Staff reporter
09 Oct 2021 at 06:27hrs | Views
He wakes up at 3AM every day and cycles 70KMs to see the progress at his new home. He makes numerous pit stops — it takes about five to six hours to-and-from his homestead in Gwamba Village in Nkayi to his new home in the Zinyangeni area.

The journey is challenging for cars, what more for a 50-year-old man on a bicycle?

But this is nothing to Clopas Sikhosana, as 40 years of his life have been full of hardships. He dropped out of school at Grade 7 and later became a laughing stock in the community, ridiculed as a mad man, who carries around a guitar and performs for a few coins in order to make ends meet.
The Internet sensation, famously known as Sikhosana Buhlungu, has been living off piece jobs to feed himself and his family. In the rural areas, it is unheard of for a man of his age not to have livestock such as cattle and goats but the last 10 years or so have been hard ones for Sikhosana who takes care of his minor children, nine and four.

Saturday Chronicle travelled to Nkayi, Matabeleland North Province, to find out the progress at his new homestead being constructed through the help of generous fans.

The journey took the team to Zinyangeni Business Centre 10km away from Nkayi Business Centre. This place is less than a kilometre from where Sikhosana's home is being built.

Sikhosana was not at the construction site.

Members of the community who spoke to the team gave a sad tale of a man who lived in abject poverty – a man seen as just a village clown.

"Sikhosana was a man who used to perform for people with his guitar. By his looks, Sikhosana was a man who was struggling in life. He would play his guitar while seated, when he dances, he'd use his left leg mostly. In fact, he isn't that good at dancing," laughs Patrick Dube, while he narrates his encounters with Sikhosana that span for over 10 years.

"He performed and performed, until that song about corona. And the other one about amagwadla. That's when he started being popular with the people, where our children would share his performances.

"Things have changed for him. I think he was not poor, but there was something that was holding him back for some time. A lot has transformed with Sikhosana, from those tattered clothes to the shiny suits that he wears and the house that is being built."

Thabani Dube said he, like others in Nkayi, thought Sikhosana was deranged.

"I started learning about Sikhosana this year. He would praise sing transporters such as Mlozi using his guitar at the terminus in Nkayi. That guitar would never leave his side, he was always smart. I was also one of the people who thought Sikhosana was crazy, the first time I saw him," said Dube.

Artwell Dube said: "Since he is now living near us here, we want to see whether this is a gift or not. I know him from Nkayi Centre, at a place called Carlton. This man was always carrying his guitar, when you see him, you'd say, kanti is'bhonda lesi ngubani (who is this vagrant?). But when he performs, you'd realise that this man has talent," said Dube.

Bhudiza Ndlovu interjected saying Sikhosana was like a pied piper. School children gathered around him to hear him sing.

"I saw him at Zenga Primary School performing. The school children love Sikhosana, if he stands up and moves, they all follow him," said Ndlovu.
Nkosikhona Ncube said Sikhosana inspired him.

"He would carry around a cooking oil tin which he had converted into a guitar. I didn't understand what he was saying or singing about. I'm now surprised that he now has such a huge stand and he now performs here. He moved around the business centre with a speaker blasting out his music and people would tell me this is Sikhosana, I didn't know him in person because I'm from Tsholotsho, I'm just here visiting," said Ncube.

Another villager, Mandlenkosi Mkhwananzi said Sikhosana has been performing for the past 10 years or so.

"He would perform with Mlambos, SaMangwe at Nkayi Business Centre. People loved what he was doing. He would move around with his guitar and would sing whatever song you wanted for a fee or even food. That is how he was living in the 10 years I saw him around this area in Nkayi," said Mkhwananzi.

After the chat with villagers, the team left to look for Sikhosana, who was said to have passed by Chief Nkalakatha's homestead. The chief allocated Sikhosana a piece of land to build a home near the business centre.

Sikhosana was at his grandfather's homestead, a stone's throw way from his stand. This is where he puts up when he is 70km away from his Gwamba homestead .

The first thing to come out of his mouth is that this reporter must buy him a Honda Fit. According to Sikhosana, he sees into the future (uyaboniswa) and the visit by the team would yield a Honda Fit.

"I see into the future. I knew that someone was coming to see me. And that person would buy me a Honda Fit, so that I can carry my equipment easily. And that person is you Ndlovu," laughed Sikhosana.
Sikhosana is now a proud owner of cattle, something that he did not have while growing up. The five beasts have names, a bull named Beat, heifers Talent, Jolikazi and Quiet, and an ox called Jamludi.

"The name Talent means it's the luck that I had to have this talent that gave me all these blessings. Beat comes from my saying, ‘ngizokulimaza nge-beat' and Jolikazi is named after her white tail while the name Jamludi is inspired by his horns," said Sikhosana.

"I had absolutely nothing, I had no livestock before this. I was living off piece jobs, such as clearing land, digging holes and all, then I get some money or food from that. So, I didn't have livestock. The only time I bought some livestock was last year after winning the Bulawayo Arts Awards. I have five goats from those awards," said Sikhosana.

There is a dam 200 metres away from his new homestead.
At the homestead, things are shaping up as the four-roomed house is at roof level.

The constructer, Bigboy "Mjimba" Moyo, has set October 25 as the day for the unveiling of Sikhosana's homestead.

He added that it will be fully furnished courtesy of donations co-ordinated by Sithule Tshuma of Qoki Zindlovukazi.

Source - The Chronicle