She had grabbed national attention – and sympathy – recently when the video of her one-time manager and boyfriend Mampintsha beating her went viral across social media. This had resulted in a wave of public sympathy and love for her and an almost national determination to shut Mampintsha up and make him musically irrelevant.
As a result, the hashtag #MuteMampintsha had begun to trend also immediately. The love for Babes doubled momentarily and the contempt for Mampitsha equally doubled, provoking an effusive apology from him to the nation.
For one who had said he was quitting music and had even entrusted his fans in the hands of Babes Wodumo, who runs Wena Wodumo Entertainment, quitting the scene may not be particularly devastating, except, perhaps, for the manner of quitting – which is not a graceful one.
It seems Babes Wodumo is about to make a great career error herself and even fall into national opprobrium, like Mampintsha himself, for disrespecting the letters of the law of the Rainbow Nation. How and when did it come to this?
Apparently Babes Wodumo, who had shared visuals of Mampintsha’s assault on her, necessitating a public break of their relationship after years of denial of assault and even a split, has assault allegations hanging on her own head.
By the way, these assault allegations are not from Mampintsha – his are still there, of course – but from a lady, who had opened a case of assault against Babes Wodumo on March 5, 2019, just days after she went public with the video of Mampintsha’s assault on her.
The allegations of assault were preferred not only against Babes Wodumo but against her sister and current manager Nondumiso Simelane and Babes Wodumo’s friend Tipcee. The lady had alleged that they assaulted her during a convo in a guest house.
Babes Wodumo was to have appeared in court on Friday April 5, 2019. But she didn’t show up, and neither did her lawyer. And the authorities are not smiling.
“The accused and her attorney didn’t show up in court today. The prosecutor has applied for a warrant of arrest for the accused,” observed Natasha Kara, a spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority.
From Babes Wodumo’s end there have been strident explanations as to why she was absent in court. This is where a reflection on Babes Wodumo’s history may become necessary, as it may actually tell if she is in earnest or has begun another jocund run and, if you please, publicity gimmick.
Nondumiso Simelane had explained that they had a performance the night before they were to attend the court hearing and car problems meant they couldn’t make it to court. More than that she expressed confusion at the charges against them.
But are the alibis of Babes Wodumo and her siser to believed? For one, Babes Wodumo has a robust history of publicity stunts – doing things just to remain in the public’s eyes.
One remembers only too well how she had appeared on Masechaba Ndlovu’s and Mo Flava’s show on Metro FM over allegations Mampintsha abused her, and how she had publicly denied Mapintsha ever assaulted her and even asked for apology, later, from her hosts.
Months later she would share a viral video of Mampintsha assaulting her. What, exactly, is she aiming at?
She had even claimed, once upon a time, that her USB stick containing an unmastered song was stolen and the song was playing in parks across the country. Months later, she would release the same song, which did well thanks in part to the publicity gimmick of declaring her USB stick stolen.
Fact is, telling a public lie now and then is not beyond Babes Wodumo, especially if it will boost her career and put her in the public’s consciousness. And no, she is not the only entertainer to adopt this strategy.
But then this note is not about every entertainer but Babes Wodumo specifically. Lying publicly may seem comic, even woke. But trust lost is seldom recovered. She had missed a gig previously, claiming car challenges,which even resulted in fans beating up the music promoter for her no-show.
At this point her excuses and counter excuses, pubic and otherwise, are beginning to sound bogus and unpalatable. She may have to rein in on the excuses and just get things done and honour the law too. If the public should completely lose trust in her and in her words, her career will be over.
Is this how she wants to end her career? We doubt.