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Who is Nonhlanhla Qwabe known as Skolopad: a mother, an artist and a nurse



Her head is bowed and her hands nervously clinching to the buttons of her nurse uniform as she emerges from the house where she rents a room.

A group of people, among them children, who Nonhlanhla Qwabe, popularly known as Skolopad, had just entertained with her suggestive dance moves a few minutes earlier, greeted her with confused looks this time around.


"Wow! Is this woman a nurse? Is it the same person who was dancing? Miracles!" shouts one woman from the crowd.

Unperturbed, the lady pulls one of her dance moves to removed any lingering doubts that it is indeed Skolopad .

Qwabe is also known as the lady in the yellow dress, owing to a revealing outfit she wore at last month's Metro FM Awards in Durban .

Whether her dress was in bad taste or not, Skolopad admitted that her "unplanned" stunt helped her music career which had stagnated in her home province of Free State since 2014 when she decided to do music.


"I won't apologise for using my body to push my music. I do dance music and not gospel. My music requires me to be sexy for it to sell." Since the Metro Fm Awards Skolopad has enjoyed some success such as getting invites to perform outside Free State and securing interviews with national TV and radio stations.

However, brand consultant Sylvester Chauke said using nudity to break into the entertainment industry was not sustainable unless the artist has talent to back it up. "Yes it helps for people to want to know more about them. However, many have failed to sustain the limelight if talent lacks," Chauke said.

Sowetan visited Skolopad, 33, in her home village of Letsha-le-Maduke Masimong in QwaQwa and later in Bohlokong township in Bethlehem, where she lives and works.

Walking with her through the village evoked excitement from her fans.

"It's my first time seeing her in person. She has elevated QwaQwa but I don't like the message she is sending to our children of using their bodies to acquire success," said an elderly woman

Skolopad also revealed she slept at a stranger's house on the night of the Metro FM awards because she did not have her own accommodation.

As we arrived with her in Bohlokong from QwaQwa, a group of children had been playing near the house where she stays. She blasted her song Ke Hana Ka Nthwaka (I Don't Sleep Around), leapt out of the car and started dancing with the kids.

The routine includes spreading her legs to expose the crotch and quickly closing them again to tease.

Perhaps she just loves attention as her childhood friend Sessy Maduna alludes.

"When she was a young girl, a friend loaned her a tracksuit. Skolopad cut the legs to expose her thighs and bums. That got her to stand out and she liked it."

Raised by her mother, Skolopad fell pregnant at 17 while doing Grade 10.

"My life didn't stop. My mom got me a nanny and I kept going to parties."

In 2007 she enrolled for a one-year nursing course at a college in Ladysmith, KZN. The following year she got a nursing job at Dihlabeng Hospital in Bethlehem.

She described herself as a "three-in-one", a mother, an artist and a nurse.

"I've always been known as a party girl but I neither smoke nor drink."

Last year, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

"For many years I could not enjoy sex. It was too painful.

"When the biopsy test confirmed the cancer I had two options; get chemotherapy or remove the womb. I got rid of the womb."

Skolopad has already recorded 12 songs but only has two singles out, the second one being Umzimba (the body) which was released the Monday after the Metro FM Awards.
Khabza Mkhize

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