On the forecourt of a petrol station in the heartland of the Karoo reverberates the mighty voice of a petrol attendant who dreamed of becoming an opera singer.
This is wool and mohair territory‚ but one can almost feel the presence of Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti in the town of Cradock.
Mthetheleli Gxoyiya has burst into song‚ hitting the high notes in an opera rendition that leaves customers on the forecourt of the Total garage where he works speechless.
Gxoyiya is gaining celebrity status in the town for his beautiful voice. Bursting spontaneously into song‚ in his red uniform‚ he closes his eyes and faces the sky.
“It’s something that comes inside from me. Sometimes I just feel that I want to sing and sing louder‚” he told TMG Digital on Friday.
His love for opera started when he joined a high school choir in the town.
“They prescribed opera music also. Then I said to myself‚ let me try this piece.”
He asked his teacher if he could attempt to sing opera‚ and the rest is history. Soon he was performing in the choir as a soloist. He ignored people who told him that he was wasting his time with opera and pursued his passion.
But his hopes of a successful career in music were dashed when he wrote his matric in 2010 and failed physical science and accounting.
“Then I could not carry on with my career in music‚” he said.
“I already had a daughter at that time‚ she was struggling so I had to go and find a job.”
People arrive at the petrol station from far and wide‚ hoping to see him sing. Even on his days off.
“My favourite artists is the one and only Pavarotti. I love to compositions of Mozart also‚” he said.
“I would love to continue with doing music. I want to be someone that will teach young people that opera is a career for the people‚” he said‚ adding that one day his dream may still come true.