EBESIBATHANDA ASEBESILAHLEKELE: James Bhemgee (1960-2022)

Sizwe Sibiya

Ababaningi abazalwa ngeminyaka yango-1960 e-Kalksteenfontein, eKapa, ababebekelwe ukuba ngabaculi be-opera abahamba phambili – kodwa uJames Bhemgee waye ngumculi wayo.

Kodwa kwakumele aqale athole indlela yakhe emigwaqeni, noma ngabe kwakusho ukushanela, okwakuwumsebenzi wakhe wosuku ngaphambi kokuthi athole ikhono lakhe.

Wasuka lapho, wahamba ibanga elide empilweni yakhe ephawulekayo. Ekukhuphukeni komsebenzi wakhe, waphuma isibili kwabaphumelele kwi-South Africa’s Got Talent (i-SAGT).

UBhemgee akazange abe namahloni ngemvelaphi yakhe, njengoba wayexoxa kaningi mayelana nempilo yakhe ngesikhathi enezingxoxo nabezindaba.

Kwake kwathi ngelinye ilanga eshanela umgwagqo, owesifazane owayedlula ngendlela wezwa uBhemgee ecula. Owesifazane wamangazwa i-tenor yakhe enamandla kodwa epholile futhi wamqasha njengothisha wakhe womculo. Uthe owesifazane waphinde wamkhuthaza ukuthi asebenzise ithalente lakhe.

Lokho kuholele ekutheni angenele umncintiswano we-SAGT. Ukuthola ukugxekwa emncintiswaneni ngomakadebebona bamajaji abafana noRandall Abrahams, uShado Twala kanye no-Ian Von Memerty kwamnika umfutho wokuqhubekela kwezinye izigaba waze wafika kwesokugcina.

Emi eduze kwabethuli bohlelo lwe-SAGT u-Anele Mdoda noRob van Vuuren ngaleso sikhathi, uBhemgee wamenyezelwa njengodle umhlanganiso kowamanqamu, wawina imali engu-R250 000 ewukheshi kanti kusukela lapho waba ngusaziwayo emhlabeni wonke.

Ngemuva kokuwina lo mncintiswano esiteji esikhulu kunazo zonke” kuleli, uBhemgee uqhubekile wacula nabanye abawine uhlelo lwethalente lwamazwe ngamazwe abavela ezindaweni ezahlukene emhlabeni. Laba baculi kubalwa kubo uPaul Potts we-British’s Got Talent kanye no-Amira Willighagen we-Holland’s Got Talent ngesikhathi behambela amazwe amaningi ngo-2014.

Kusukela kwi-tenor aria edumile ethi-“Nessun Dorma” kuya kwi-“Ave Maria” ka-Franz Schubert, uBhemgee wacula kahle kakhulu.

Ngo-2020, uMzansi wavuka ngezindaba ezikhathazayo mayelana nomculi we-opera odumile.

Iphephandaba i-Daily Voice labika ukuthi uboshelwe icala lokudlwengula ingane e-Mitchells Plain.

Kwathiwa icala lihoxisiwe enkantolo, uBhemgee nomzala wesisulu badedelwa ngesexwayiso. UBhemgee wayelokhu emile kwelokuthi akalenzanga icala.

Waqhubeka nomsebenzi wakhe kwaze kwaba uNhlaba kulo nyaka ngesikhathi ecula emcimbini wokuqwashisa ngezidakamizwa eKapa.

UBhemgee ushone ekuseni ngomhlaka-22 kuNhlangulana eneminyaka engu-57 ngemuva kokugula isikhashana.

“Kuyadabukisa kakhulu ukuthi sidlulise izindaba zokulahlekelwa umngani nozakwethu, uMnu James Bhemgee,” kuqinisekisa abadidiyeli bakhe e-Marmalade Productions njengoba amazwi enduduzo esaqhubeka nokungena.

UBhemgee unikeze ababukeli iseluleko ayehlezi esilandela ngesikhathi exoxa nohlelo lwakwa-SABC i-Expresso Show ngo-2014. “Ungalokothi uphele amandla,” esho, “zama ngakho konke okusemandleni akho futhi unikele ngakho konke onakho.”