When the multi-talented Afro-soul singer and producer Kabomo Vilakazi was asked for R2 by an unknown young man last weekend outside House 22 club in Sunnyside, Pretoria, he generously gave him R10 instead – the price that nearly cost his life.
The award-winning Vilakazi, who was booked to perform at the popular club, did not know that the young man he felt pity for was in fact a thug. A few minutes later, the four-time Sama nominee was attacked by knife-wielding thugs ahead of his performance.
Speaking to Sunday World, the musician said the thug approached him while sitting in his car waiting for his performance to start.
“I then took out my wallet and gave him R10. He left but returned to the car a few minutes later with two more men carrying knives,” said Vilakazi.
“They then demanded I open the windows and give them everything I had in the car.
“They took my bag, in which there was an iPad, books, ID book, driver’s licence and my wallet – containing R600 in cash and my credit cards. They also demanded my phone.”
As if this was not terrifying enough, the talented musician said things got worse when he could not find his phone because he was frightened and trembling.
“They got angry, and one of them put a knife on my throat. He said I was lying because I did not want to give them my phone,” he said.
“The other one said ‘stab him, he’s full of s**t’. I felt my body shaking because I thought he was going to stab me. Luckily the other one spotted the phone and took it. They then left.”
Despite this unforgettable incident, the Uzobuya hitmaker bravely performed for his fans as scheduled.
“I made an announcement on stage, asking the crowd to worship with me as I had just survived a mugging incident right outside the club.”
What did Vilakazi learn about feeling pity for strangers?
“It will take me a time before I start giving money to people in the streets again,” he said.
“The incident affected my life badly because I now use Uber to travel around Joburg… I don’t have a driver’s licence. It’s such an inconvenience.”