Meet the real Shawn Timba
In an exclusive interview with Herald Entertainment in February this year, Sulu revealed that Sean (spelt Shawn) Timba was a young boy, living in either Glen Norah or Highfield and true to that, Saturday Lifestyle tracked down and found the boy in the sprawling western suburb of Glen Norah.
Clad in grey uniform, we caught up with the 13-year-old boy, a Form One pupil at Churchill High, just as he returned from school.
The song, according to the boy – whose national registration documentation confirms his name – has brought popularity inas much as it has brought misery to him and for that, he now demands,US$5 000 for the use of his name, and everything it has brought to him.
In the exclusive narrative Sulu says: “I was staging a show at Extra Mile in 2010 when the young boy disappeared. His mother came to me and said she was looking for the boy, Shawn Timba.
“It sunk into me and that is how I came up with the title Sean Timba.”
The dendera protege said the name kept on ringing in his mind when he was writing the song.
In an interview, Shawn Timba’s grandmother, Mabel Murefu, concurred with Sulu’s narrative.
“He is the ‘Sean Timba’ Suluman sings about. Shawn went to a family show at Extra Mile with his aunt and instead of concentrating on the show, he went on to play slug (mini-soccer) at the joint and his aunt started looking for him. That is when she went on stage and announced that a boy by the name Shawn Timba was missing,” she said.
Although the song turned the boy almost into an overnight celebrity, Shawn seems to, at times, pay a heavy price for the lyrics that insinuate thuggery and theft.
“Sulu, by his own confirmation, used my name but the lyrics in the song are bad and I am paying for it. If something goes missing at school, others ridicule me, saying it is me because of my name. I think Sulu should compensate me for using my name. I need US$1 500 and on top of that I should be given ‘VIP’ treatment at his shows,” said Shawn.
He said, each time the song is played in kombis his friends start fidgeting, making him feel uncomfortable.
His grandmother said Sulu should have associated her grandson’s name with good lyrics.
“Sulu anoti Sean Timba urikuita sona sona neni, ndiri kushandira mhuri yangu. Izvi zvinoita sekunge mwana haaendi kuchikoro anongoswera achiita zvemagitare.
Zvinondirwadza zvikuru uye anofanira kumuripa neUS$5 000,” she said.
“I was called by his parents who live in South Africa asking me about what had happened, why the child’s name was used in Sulu’s song, giving an impression that I leave the boy achiita zvemagitare. Apa mwana wemukuwasha,” she added.
Sulu has so far given the boy just US$40 as a token of appreciation.
“He went with me in his car and gave me money when he was performing at Extra Mile on Sunday. He asked me about school and everything then promised to do ‘something’ for me,” said Shawn.
Sulu could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print but, speaking through his publicist, Joe Nyamungoma, he confirmed that Shawn was the boy who inspired his song.
“We believe he is the guy, but he seemed to have grown now. He appeared at our recent show last Sunday, though people could not believe it, we introduced him to our fans,” he said.
He, however, said Suluman was unable to pay Shawn US$5 000 that he was demanding.
“When he got lost, Sulu never demanded money from the parents for the announcement. So why are they demanding money now? If he wants to attend our shows for free, he can do so but only family shows because he is still a minor,” he said.