TWENTY-nine-year-old “SA Idols” winner Thapelo Molomo says he has no plans to leave the SAPS.
Molomo this week indicated that he would continue being dedicated to the police force while pursuing his singing career.
Molomo, born and raised in Limpopo, joined the men in blue in 2018 as an intern trauma councillor in the wellness division at the provincial head office.
Last year, he was permanently appointed as Warrant Officer and was stationed at Brits police station in the North West.
The newly crowned Idols winner said he is grateful and honoured that he won the competition.
Molomo thanked his family, friends, colleagues and viewers who voted for him throughout the season.
He said he would not have made it this far without either of them.
The season 18 winner said he has always been passionate about singing and being in the music industry.
Molomo’s musical interest started in primary school when he participated in school choirs and competitions. Molomo said he had always wanted to enter Idols but was only ready to participate in the competition this year when he felt fully prepared to embark on the journey.
“I felt ready psychologically, emotionally and vocally to enter Idols this season. I believed that I would go far in my journey as a contestant. I was also inspired by previous winners such as Loyiso and Mmatema Moremi by seeing how their careers flourished after Idols,” Molomo said.
Despite his R1 million prize win, the Warrant Officer expressed that he would not leave the SAPS. He said he was passionate about music and making a difference in society, and his SAPS job allows him to do his community service.
“I love singing as much as I love my job as a counsellor. I will not give up one for the other. There are many singers in the force who are juggling the two, and they are doing extremely well. Nothing is stopping from doing that, too,” he said.
Molomo added that, like many of his colleagues in the police force, he would find ways to balance his careers. He said he had been doing gigs before winning the competition, and that has never negatively affected his job before, and it would not start now.
“I find balance in understanding that I have to focus on my job during the week, and I will have time to attend gigs over the weekend in my spare time. I’ll have time to juggle the two without lacking in both aspects of my career. If I feel under pressure, I would still report and ask my employer for support,” he explained.
There is yet to be an official agreement in place with the SAPS on how Molomo can incorporate the two careers in life and not have his music interests disrupt his day job. However, he said the police service is supportive of his musical endeavours.
“The SAPS motivates us not to die without realising our talents and fulfiling things we are passionate about and love. They encourage us to follow our dreams as long as they do not get in the way of our jobs,” he said.
The SAPS Employment Regulations Act of 2017 prohibits employees from doing any remunerative work outside the police force. Members are expected to declare other income and business interests. However, Molomo’s case is different. His participation in the internationally recognised singing competition did not contravene the act. National police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said they rallied behind Molomo throughout the competition and will continue to support him.
“It is worth noting that when Thapelo entered the competition, he took annual leave, and when his annual leave got depleted, he opted to take unpaid leave.
The SAPS is proud of our own for winning the idols season 18 competition.
The service supports him so long as his new career does not hamper his day-to-day responsibilities of providing trauma support to members and their families,” Mathe said.
She proudly added that Molomo is now a role model for junior and senior ranking officers in blue.
Mathe said Molomo currently serves as a beacon of hope and a great ambassador for those members who risk their lives daily to protect and serve the country's civilians.