Kelly Khumalo and Chad da Don had a seemingly picture-perfect romance – but now the relationship is over. The rapper reveals the reason he left his queen.
IT seemed like the perfect love story. They met, fell in love, got matching tattoos and were ready to walk down the aisle together . . . all in the space of less than six months.
After years of heartbreak and loss, it seemed singer and mother-of-two Kelly Khumalo (34) had found her Prince Charming in rapper and producer Chad Mansoor (25) aka Chad da Don.
The pair appeared inseparable and served up all sorts of heat on the red carpet at glitzy events but now the fairytale has ended as quickly as it began. A source close to the two says they broke up “a couple of weeks ago” and although they’re sad “they’re dealing with it”.
Kelly is coming to terms with the split, the friend says. “She’s doing all right. You know, Kelly is strong. She’s been through a lot and she can handle this.” The once loved-up pair broke up due to “conflicting beliefs”, he adds.
A Sunday tabloid reported that Kelly’s ancestral calling drove a wedge between her and Chad – and the musician confirms to DRUM that they’re no more.
“We split up but there are no bad vibes,” Chad says. “Her husband-to-be is out there somewhere and I will also find my wife one day.”
Kelly was the best thing that has ever happened to him, Chad adds.
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“I’ve been through a lot and Kelly’s love was medicinal,” he says. He has nothing but praise for his ex-girlfriend, and stresses that “things just didn’t work out and it’s all God’s will”.
There’s no bad blood between them and he still cares about her.
“We’re just different people with different beliefs. My heart feels sore but there is no pain God cannot cure. Kelly and I had a good run. We were blessed with a great time but now it’s over,” Chad says.
CHAD isn’t sure what he’s going to do with the KK tattoo – Kelly’s initials – on his ring finger. “I’ll probably merge them into Bible scripture like the rest of my tattoos, who knows?” he says. “My life hasn’t been easy and through it all I’ve built a strong relationship with God. So not even this can break me.”
Chad is a member of the Christian Revival Church (CRC) and he often preaches from the pulpit and tours townships to recruit troubled young people to join his church.
An unnamed family friend says when he and Kelly met, Chad’s work at the CRC took a back seat.
“He was always around Kelly and of course they would go to church together but he wasn’t as active with his work at church,” she says, but Chad says this is neither the case nor the reason for their break-up.
“I’ve always had time for my spirituality and religion. That’s what brought Kelly and me together and that’s also what separated us,” he says, hinting at Kelly’s conflicting belief system but refusing to elaborate on it.
He and Kelly have different callings in life. “My calling is to preach the word of God and her calling is what it is.”
To help him heal, Chad will be getting another tattoo on his stomach of Jesus Christ with his disciples at the Last Supper and has gone back to the studio to finish off his upcoming EP.
“I’m just going to focus on my music and my work at the church,” he says.
When they were together their relationship was the stuff of romance novels. They celebrated the songstress’ birthday with an idyllic getaway in White River, Mpumalanga, where Chad referred to the singer as his “queen” and she called him her “king” in their Instagram posts.
Two weeks into the relationship Chad introduced Kelly to his family and she became “one of us” and developed a close bond with his sister, Lexi Mkwanazi. His mom, Noma Mansoor, says Chad is handling the matter like “an adult”.
“It wasn’t an ugly break-up. People say he was suicidal after the split, but that’s all rubbish. Chad still loves Kelly very much and she’ll always be part of our family,” Noma says.
Noma feels as though she has lost a daughter in Kelly. “I will always love her. I don’t care what people say about the sangoma and Christianity beliefs clashing. Our family cares about putting God first and working hard,” she says.
“Kelly was very tight with my daughter Lexi and their children are still close but things happened, people break up . . . but she will always be one of us.”
Noma is also her son’s manager and says Chad, who is of Lebanese origin, is focusing on his music and his Christian work.
KELLY is keeping busy since the break-up. She’s promoting her new album, Unleashed, and she recently travelled to Zimbabwe for a gig.
A friend of both Kelly and Chad, who doesn’t wish to be named, says Kelly is “slowly getting over her heartbreak”.
“She wasn’t the one who called it quits. She didn’t dump him. It’s something they both needed to do because of their differences,” he says. Still, he adds, he didn’t expect things to end so soon, “but it’s fine, she’ll be fine. She has been through worse,” the friend says.
Kelly’s love life has been in the public eye for years. Around the time her second album, Itshitshi, was released in 2006 she started dating business_ man and music promoter Prosper Mkwaiwa, who died in 2015.
She later found love in the arms Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye, the controversial rapper who fathered her first child, her son Christian. They broke up after he was found guilty of culpable homicide following the death of four school children in a dragracing accident.
Kelly was linked to Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa who was gunned down at Kelly’s mother’s home in Vosloorus in 2014 during an attempted robbery.
Her friends say Kelly believes she’ll find lasting love one day: “She’s a lover, a very spiritual and caring person, and all she wants is to be happy and for the people around her to be happy.”
Attempts to contact Kelly proved fruitless. Her bookings manager, Nozipho Ndlovu, finally sent an email: “Thank you for inviting Kelly Khumalo but, unfortunately, she is not available to do the interview.”