Melissa Mpofu, Showbiz Editor
Much-loved musician, Sandra Ndebele who had been on a hiatus since the start of the lockdown in March this year, this month reminded people of her existence through a series of captivating images.
She literally owned the local social media streets this week as most people posted about her, acknowledging her good looks and well-endowed body.
The singer-cum-dancer fired warning shots on July 9 when she updated her Facebook profile picture and cover photo with professional images by Puzzle Moments, one of the best photo studios in Bulawayo. The vivacious artiste was clad in a black dress that suited her well with accessories including a watch, sunglasses and necklace complementing the look. Basically, she looked like a boss as even the pose, suggested so.
Also, having been working on her body for the past couple of months, it was clear she was a woman embracing her body and proud of the results.
This was only the beginning of more to come as she, from that day, posted a series of jaw-dropping images of different looks, captivating her thousands of followers. These were not just general pictures. It was clear she was a woman on a mission to remind people of her existence.
And certainly, she accomplished her mission and likely even got more than she bargained for as people are still talking about her with various memes of some of her photos emerging. Several artistes have been posting about her, chief among them Carl Joshua Ncube, Nceku and Jah Signal as well as Internet sensations — Thomas Chizhanje and Wellence Mujuru, complementing her looks.
Women, who really comment on other women’s pictures, especially positively, have been at the forefront, commending Sandy for inspiring and representing them well.
A Zimdancehall song in her honour has also been composed and is getting rave reviews. Generally, there is a lot of hype around her with her social media pages getting a lot of traffic as people browse the images and anticipate for more releases. She has not been disappointing them as she, since the beginning of the month, has been dropping the images that are being accompanied by inspirational quotes, daily. The images keep getting positive feedback, making her trend.
“Hotter than water in the kettle, these curves are 100% yoh, sanitise us we’re your corona, uyatshisa shame and beautiful,” are just a few of the comments Sandy has been receiving.
This is the power of social media, power which must not be taken lightly by artistes during this pandemic as it can be used to their benefit during a time when they cannot release music like they used to as most have no access to studios and most importantly, cannot physically interact with their audiences.
Social media, until a time when the World Health Organisation finds a way to handle the Covid-19 pandemic which continues to kill thousands worldwide, will remain the only alternative platform for artistes to promote themselves and their works.
But considering that most artistes have not been coming up with new works, they find themselves in a tight spot, making it very easy to lose relevance. And once they lose relevance and are overtaken by the up-and-coming artistes like Zimdancehall’s Van Choga, who has found ways to utilise the Internet to his advantage, it may prove very difficult to bounce back.
Sandy on the other hand, has proved that as an artiste, you need to be creative and simply, give people what they want. And in her instance, she gave them well curated images that effortlessly caught the attention of many, putting her on the spotlight.
Having realised that it was proving difficult for her to release new music (due to the lockdown), she looked for an alternative way to reach out to the people and certainly it paid off because she is likely going to start securing slots at several online shows because of the hype that has been created around her. It is the same as comedian Mai TT. After trending online because of her tiff with Passion Java, she was invited to perform at a Nash TV online show days later and those who had been engrossed in her tiff, thronged the show in their numbers to see how she would perform.
So, if Sandy decides to drop new music soon, it will be an added advantage for her as she is already active in the social media streets so people will likely want to listen to her music.
This is how the arts industry operates now, you need to do something out of the usual online to get people interested in you and your works and Sandy is definitely on the right track.
Other artistes who, after realising they cannot pursue their usual trades but need to have content to post on social media to keep in touch with fans are Peter Moyo and Jah Prayzah. The two musicians have been sharing comedy clips on their pages and they have been good at it. Now their fans are calling on them to consider acting as they feel the two are talented in that area.
In an interview, Sandy said she did not expect the images to attract the attention they did as she just went for a photoshoot and decided to share the images with fans.
“I didn’t even think they’d (images) break the Internet the way they did. I was just posting pictures and then things just happened,” she said.
She said she is humbled by the support she has received from people.
“I’m really humbled that there are people out there who value me. It’s such an honour and I’m grateful.”
The talented musician who used to weigh over 90kgs said she is still working on her body as she wants to have a six-pack.
“It’s been a journey-and-a-half. I was once 95kgs and now, I can proudly say I’m 84kgs. I’m still on it (exercising) until I get a six-pack, then I’ll stop.”
Quizzed if fans can expect new music from her anytime soon, Sandy said definitely as she is working on an album. After upping her game and setting the pace last month with the première of her Impilo music video on MTVBase, Sandy said she hopes to release her album as soon as things normalise.