Slice Of Life: Halo of Dreams

Jonny Vilakazi has fond memories of singing Beyoncé for Anele Mdoda.

Jonny Vilakazi has fond memories of singing Beyoncé for Anele Mdoda.

I’ve always been a singer but one of my best gigs was singing on Miller Rock the Boat – the cruise ship from Durban to Mozambique. The ship is like 13 stories high or something. It is the Titanic on steroids, literally.

It was such an experience for me as a known backing singer doing my own thing.

That crazy weekend we had Black Coffee there, DJ Fresh, Flash Republic with Tamara Dey and the Parlotones.

You need to understand that I was literally neighbours with these guys. When they said “sound check”, we were there together.

My band was doing local and international covers and I got to sing Halo, which is my favourite song by Beyoncé.

The crazy part was that the biggest Beyoncé fan in the country, on the continent and in the world, Anele Mdoda, was on the ship that year.

She attended the show with the white boy she was co hosting with… Grant.

We went to the theatre to do our set at about 11, before the big performer of the night. Everyone was chilling in the theatre including HHP and Cassper, who was a dancer back then. They were so cool listening to us, a bunch of randoms.

I saw Anele and even though she has all the DVD’s from Beyoncé, the one thing she can’t do is sing so I decided to sing for her like Beyoncé.

I asked her to come forward and I told her that it was a special dedication to her because I knew she liked the song.

Jonga sana xa iqala nje (The way I started the song).

“Remember the walls I built,” (singing)

Her face just lit up, I still have that picture of her, with her little pony tail and a black dress, in awe.

I took it all the way, “I can feel your halo, halo, halo”.

She lost it.

It was so crazy amazing.

Jonny Vilakazi, as told to Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi award-winning journalist who is passionate about data, human interest issues, governance and everything that isn’t on social media. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession. Read more from Athandiwe Saba

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