Pakela hitched - Mercy finds love
ALTHOUGH the age difference is a huge gap of 25 years between her and her fiance, Mzansi's '80s pop sensation Mercy Pakela is ready to walk down the isle with the man of her dreams.
The girl from New Brighton in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, who arrived in Joburg in 1982 searching for stardom at the age of 16, is getting hitched by her white fiancée.
"This is Mercy's man," he introduces himself on the phone. "I confirm that I'm indeed seeing her. Yes, we are engaged to get married soon. I call her my little pint size. She is like my little girl. She stimulates me non-stop. She has a mind of her own."
Pakela, of Ayashis' Amateki and Ndizokulinda fame doesn't doubt that she has found love this time around.
"I met a man, a white guy and we are engaged," she says with a glowing face. "In fact if it weren't for the traditional processes, we would be married by now.
"It's impossible not to love someone who has loved me like this man has."
Asked for this man's identity, she refuses, only saying: "he's 71. He has two old children. He's French but can speak Afrikaans and of course English. He likes saying 'Mercy why are you asking me for money. You have money now' and I guess it hasn't sunk in from all those 20 years of suffering".
She says her star began to wane after the death of her mother back in 1992.
"After that, things went downhill. I went from door to door asking for help from people I knew. Many couldn't be bothered. I couldn't believe it was the same people I had mentored before they made it big in the music business. Kingdoms do rise and fall, like mine.
"Only the late Brenda Fassie would give me real support. She would even open her car boot and give me clothes and good money. Chicco would sometimes help me with accommodation."
Pakela says she met her "sweetheart" after a series of microphone wrestling with a live band at Emperors Palace. "They didn't need me but I would jump right onto the stage to join them. Sometimes they paid me R200 sometimes they wouldn't.
"And I would spend the night just loitering about the casino, waiting for the morning to break. Mostly I sat in the patrons section and this man would come and join me. He would buy me drinks. Sometimes he gave me money and at times he would write me a cheque. I'm sure the banks at the airport were sick of my R500 cheques," she laughs.
"One day he asked me out on a date and I agreed. He asked me to meet him at a clothing chain store," he says.
"There I picked a dress. Then came a new headache. Where will I put the dress on? He said he could take me to my place. When I told him I had no place or friends I felt his pity."
Today though, she enjoys a monthly allowance of R15000 and lives in a B&B in Houghton where she pays R7500 a month.
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