Fourteen-year old Phomolo Khanyo Somolekae is set for the stars. She has been accepted into America’s Got Talent show in Los Angels, California, USA. Somolekae, a girl from Serowe, is an amazing singer, discovered at the age of four when she shocked her family with a rendition of the Jackson Five song, ‘Who’s loving you.’
In an interview with BG Style, Phomolo’s mother, Monica Somolekae says they were inspired to enter her into the show because of her outstanding talent. Somolekae narrates that it all started one day when the family had gathered in the house to play musical instruments and to sing. When everyone thought that the fun session was over and back to doing their own thing, Phomolo picked up the mic and started signing ‘Who’s loving you.’ Initially her mother thought the CD was playing “because it was that good.”
From then, Phomolo’s mother decided to use every available opportunity to enter her in music competitions with the sister, who is also a good singer.
She first took them to My African Dream talent competition where they made it to the semi finals. When she reached secondary school, Phomolo did not stop. She continued to perform at every event and important occasions in the school, and the more she did, the more her mother knew that they needed to do something about it. “I started wondering about how people get into America’s Got Talent. I started researching on the internet, went into America’s Got Talent website and I applied. To my surprise, they accepted her,” Somolekae said.
All this happened in December last year, and coincided with companies closing, while most government officials were on leave. It was difficult to approach anyone for assistance and support at that time, they almost gave up.
Only three weeks ago, Somolekae decided not to let the opportunity go without a try and started talking to people. “We went to the Ministry of Youth, we are still waiting to hear if they will assist us,” she said, adding that others that were approached also promised to assist.
The family has since begun a campaign on Facebook and Twitter asking for help. According to Somolekae, the feedback has been positive, as a few people have pledged their assistance as far as New York. “We still need funds to pay for her ticket, the hotel, food, and transportation locally. We really need help of about P60 000 to be able to do all that needs to be done,” she says, adding, we urge business community, other organizations and government entities to assist.
Somolekae believes that it is important for talent such as this to be seen in that stage. “It is crucial to Botswana as it sheds light into our abilities as Batswana. It also shows that Batswana also have talent. I know for a fact that South Africans, Nigerians and other nationalities are known, but Botswana also needs to be known for its talent because we have immense talent.”
She believes that the only thing that Botswana lacks is opportunities to showcase the talent and to grow and groom it. “America’s Got Talent show platform will open doors for Phomolo and other aspiring amateur singers and entertainers.” Phomolo’s mother hopes that her story will be an example of a small girl having a big dream, and the community moving mountains to ensure that her dream comes true. Phomolo leaves for the USA on Monday.