The Limpopo schoolgirl who grabbed international star Nicki Minaj’s attention is not just a die-hard fan, but a budding musician.
For the last three years Tshephiso Kgodumo, 17, from Sekgakgapeng village in Mokopane, has been recording rap songs in her bedroom’s makeshift studio, hoping to make it big one day.
A video of the Grade 11 pupil spitting rhymes from one of Minaj’s tracks recently went viral on social media after the famous rapper shared the clip with millions of her followers on Instagram.
By Sunday morning the video clip had been viewed over 1.8 million times with 5120 comments from Minaj’s followers.
This additional fame for Tshephiso garnered her 400 more Twitter followers.
The teen was excited when Sowetan visited her at home. She said she shot the video with the camera on her phone after school to entertain her friends while they waited for a taxi ride.
“I wanted to show them how Nicki dropped that verse,” she said.
In the video, Tshephiso can be seen rapping while her friend Angela Gosa, 17, dances next to her. Both girls, who attend Ramogabudi Senior Secondary School, were dressed in their uniforms.
Tshephiso said she then shared the video on Twitter and tagged Minaj.
Another fan re-posted and Minaj shared it on her Instagram page saying, “This really inspired me. Music transcends all borders”.
“That’s when I realised that, Oh my God! This is really big.
“People were commenting from all over Africa, Europe and Australia sending us their best wishes.”
When asked what she loved most about Minaj, Tshephiso smiled and said: “This is the question I’ve been waiting for.
“Being a driven girl all the way from Southside Jamaica in Queens, New York, who had a tough childhood, went through 15 jobs and got fired.
“Her spirit is tough like a warrior because she ended up being the Nicki Minaj we salute today.”
The teenager also collects magazines and posters with Minaj’s image on them.
Tshephiso, who describes herself as a go-getter started rapping in 2012, and was “discovered” by her friend and producer Khutso Leriba, 20, about three years ago.
Together they have recorded 13 songs Tshephiso wrote.
To record, they used a mixer and a small microphone affixed to a pole, and a pop filter made from old stockings.
Her friend Angela said she noticed Tshephiso’s ability when she performed at school functions.
Tshephiso’s father Solomon Kgodumo said: “Sometimes she stays up late practising her rap.
“At first I was worried that the music will disrupt her studies.
“But now I see that she is doing well. I believe she will achieve her dreams.”
Tshephiso said she plans to work hard and hopes to study music after high school.