|Birth name||Bongekile Simelane|
|Also known as||Gqom Queen|
March 25, 1994|
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
|Years active||2015- to date|
|Labels||West Ink Records|
Babes Wodumo (born Bongekile Simelane on 25 March 1994) is a South African recording artist. She shot to prominence with the release of her hit single "Wololo" featuring Mampintsha of Big NUZ fame. Her debut album, Gqom Queen, Vol. 1, was released in 2016 and it featured Mampintsha on every single one of the fifteen tracks.
Babes Wodumo was born Bongekile Simelane on 25 March 1994 in Lamontville township located on the near Southern edge of the city of Durban in theKwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. She is the daughter of Bishop Mbongeni Welcome Simelane and Pastor Thokozile Simelane, the leaders of [Lamontville Mount Zion Faith Mission]]. Babes Wodumo is one of three children to her parents, she is a middle child, she has a big sister named Nonduh Simelane and a little bother named Khumbulani Simelane. She attended Lamontville High School until matriculating and went to UNISA for a year before dropping out in favour of a career in the field of music and entertainment. "After my matric, I did it for a year with Unisa. But I dropped out because I didn’t like it. As much as I love people, I also love entertainment", Babes Wodumo was quoted.
In 2014 Babes Wodumo was featured on Sir Bubzin’s song, "Desha", which also features Big NUZ and DJ Tira. In 2015 she appeared on "Tsege Tsege" and "Benu Benu", which are both hit songs on Big NUZ’s album, For The Fans. It was the release of her hit single, "Wololo", featuring Big NUZ’s Mampintsha that Babes Wodumo shot to stardom. At it's height, the song the fourth most played local song on South African radio.
Her stage name means "the famous Babes", and she says when she was born, there was a group called The Babes and she had eyes like one of its members, which her father always referred to and said "Lo uw’Babes’ (this one is Babes)." The ‘Wodumo’(of fame) came because she used to do dancing, acting, soccer, athletics, and was good at them all and became famous.
Babes Wodumo was in a relationship with Mampintsha of Big NUZ fame and her label boss at West Ink Records. “I have a boyfriend, we have been together for quite a while, he is a well-known artist but I will not say his name,” she was quoted by the Sunday World. The pair broke up in the wake of domestic violence and abuse leveled by Babes Wodumo against Mampintsha.
Fresh reports have surfaced linking the pair together again and further suggesting that Babes Wodumo is pregnant. According to her former manager Hlengiwe Mbambo who was quoted by Isolezwe, "I don't know if Babes is pregnant. Therefore I cannot say much on that topic. As far I know, she is not pregnant. I do know that both Babes and Mampintsha are still business partners and they still meet each other for that; they have never been enemies".
Domestic Violence and Abuse Allegations
Babes Wodumo was doing a live interview on Metro FM with Masechaba Ndlovu and Mo Flava to promote her new song, "Ka Dazz", when she was confronted about the rumours that she had been abused by long time partner and record label boss, Mampintsha. The interview was also streamed live on Babes Wodumo's Instagram Stories.
Babes Wodumo wept and nodded her head as Masechaba Ndlovu claimed that Mampintsha had allegedly punched her (Babes Wodumo) in the face and broken her leg. During an ad break on the radio interview, video footage on Babes Wodumo's Instagram account shows Masechaba Ndlovu and Mo Flava coaxing Babes to tell the truth. "The truth is the key. You've done nothing wrong. My blood is boiling. I hate to see a young woman as terrified as you," Masechaba Ndlovu told Babes Wodumo.
"I said I wasn't going to do this, but Babes, you know, I think it needs to be said because I hate to see a young women as talented, as smart as you, living in so much fear. Babes Wodumo. Right. You don't have to answer this question, but we all know, we've heard from multiple sources, we've witnessed the fact that you have been physically abused by Mampintsha. That he has beaten you in your relationship," Masechaba Ndlovu said.
"I have a very close friend of mine who took you in the day Mampintsha punched you in the face. And you were bleeding from your nose. You don't even know that I know that story. You don't even know that I know from someone else that he broke your leg. Babes, we live in a country where women are getting killed left, right and centre. And quite frankly I'm prepared to deal with the BCCSA. Mampintsha, bring it on," added Masechaba Ndlovu.
Mampintsha later responded to the claims partially admitting culpability, "As a public figure and a man, I should be at the forefront of the campaigns against gender-based and domestic violence. I am no saint, nor do I plead absolute innocence in the claims made in that interview. I may have overreacted in a couple of incidents during our relationship with her over certain things I will not be comfortable to discuss in the public domain".
- IOL, Gqom as you are, like Babes Wodumo, 26 August 2018
- Information Cradle, Babes Wodumo Biography, Age, Boyfriend, Engagement, Child, Parents, Interview and Songs, 26 August 2018
- Zalebs, West Ink launches a Mampintsha & Babes Wodumo competition, 26 August 2018
- Daily Sun, Babes wodumo dololo in dad's church!, 26 August 2018
- Zalebs', Babes Wodumo buys her parents a house, 26 August 2018
- IOL', We need Thuma Mina-like grand plan to save SA's women, 26 August 2018
- Zimbo Connect', Babes Wodumo biography, 26 August 2018
- sowetanlive', Babes Wodumo celebrates her 24th birthday, 26 March 2019
- mytvnews', Happy 24th birthday-Babes Wodumo!, 26 March 2019