Gu Gu Dhlamini received a surprise invite to meet Yvonne Chaka Chaka who she then got to sing a rendition of a Whitney Houston song ,One Moment in Time' she first got noticed on the Jenny Crwys-Williams show on 702 talk radio when she sang a song in dedication of the late Whitney Houston.
Picture: Antoine de Ras, 06/03/2012
Gu Gu Dhlamini received a surprise invite to meet Yvonne Chaka Chaka who she then got to sing a rendition of a Whitney Houston song ,One Moment in Time' she first got noticed on the Jenny Crwys-Williams show on 702 talk radio when she sang a song in dedication of the late Whitney Houston. Picture: Antoine de Ras, 06/03/2012

Talent show star under icon’s wing

By KUTLWANO OLIFANT Time of article published Apr 19, 2013

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Johannesburg - GUGU Ashefon is no stranger to the limelight.

Last February, Ashefon left listeners hankering for more of her music when she paid tribute to late US icon Whitney Houston on Talk Radio 702.

Her performance caught the ear of legendary songbird Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who immediately offered to mentor her.

At the time, Ashefon was so gobsmacked, she didn’t hear what Chaka Chaka had just offered her, until The Star, without her knowledge, arranged for her to meet Chaka Chaka at her home in an upmarket Joburg suburb.

The two have since started working together under Chaka Chaka’s management.

Nearly 12 months later, Ashefon is a member of the remaining three choirs in the Mzansi Magic talent show, Clash of the Choirs, which will come to an end on Sunday.

The 26-year-old is hoping that her team, led by musician Zakes Bantwini, will grab the R750 000 prize. Bantwini is a well-known house music artist from KwaZulu-Natal.

Just before Ashefon left for the choirs camp, where rehearsals for the final show were expected to resume on Tuesday, she met a team from The Star.

“This has been the most incredible time of my life. The show has taught me a lot about music. It was an experience and a half,” said the mother-of-one.

“At first I felt like a student. I was learning a lot from everyone, including team members who have degrees in music and some who started singing professionally back in their high school years.”

Leaving her husband and daughter behind during the show was extremely difficult and emotional for her.

“My daughter was still mumbling when I left. But now she talks fluently, even though she’s still learning how to pronounce words properly,” said Ashefon.

The songstress said she had all but lost hope when she didn’t make it through during the auditions in Gauteng.

The young woman from Zola North, Soweto, tried her luck one more time, flying to Cape Town for the auditions there.

“The auditions were done and the team was already chosen when I arrived in Cape Town. It was a painful moment,” said Ashefon.

She added that she had completely forgotten about the show when she was called back.

“I was excited and ready to represent the province with the rest of the team. Things have changed for the better and the future is bright,” she said.

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