He's been a pillar of support to his Mafikizolo colleagues over the years as they were plagued by heartache and tragedy. Hospitalisations, crashes, deaths – he’s seen it all. Now it seems Theo Kgosinkwe has gone through some tough times of his own with his 15-year marriage to Rose ending.
He’s moved out of the stylish three-bedroom West Rand home he shared with Rose and their two children.
For many of his die-hard fans the news came as a shock. But a record-label friend and colleague of Theo’s says the marriage “didn’t just crumble overnight” – it’s been a long time coming.
“Theo is a praying warrior and he fought and fasted for his marriage,” she says. “You can try to fix a broken relationship but when it’s done, it’s really done.”
And they had certainly been trying for some time, by several accounts.
The cracks in their marriage started showing eight years ago. After Theo and bandmate Nhlanhla Nciza sought to carve solo careers for themselves, Theo found it tough to strike a balance with his personal and professional life.
“I went through a bad patch with my wife because I was working so hard,” he told DRUM.
Rose told him working hard was pointless if he didn’t take the time to enjoy the fruits of his labour.
Theo (45) had thrown himself heart and soul into his work and believed he had to knuckle down even more when he struck out on his own.
“As a solo artist you have to work extra hard because you’re not sharing the load with anyone,” he said at the time. “I had to learn to prioritise.”
But things clearly didn’t work out in the long run and nothing more could be done to save the marriage. “They tried but the divorce is final, shame,” Theo’s friend says.
When DRUM called Theo to confirm his divorce he declined to comment, saying he preferred his private life to be kept out of the spotlight.
ALTHOUGH rumours of their divorce only recently surfaced, Theo and Rose parted ways more than 18 months ago – according to friends on both sides. It wasn’t a decision they took lightly. “As you walk into their home you’re greeted by The Lord is My Shepherd from Psalm 23, beautifully engraved into the wall,” says Theo’s record-label friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “For them, as Christians, to divorce is a big deal.”
For years they had an idyllic marriage and “everyone in the church looked up to them”.
And it wasn’t just a romantic match – they own a realestate agency, Goliwood Properties. Rose enjoyed life far from the showbiz spotlight and kept busy with this business while Theo travelled the country with Mafikizolo, then solo later on .
eo’s friend says Rose is a busy realestate owner and church-going mother. “They made the perfect couple because she wasn’t into fame.”
Although Theo was frequently on the road performing he relished spending quiet time at home with his family.
“Any time I get off, I spend it with my wife and kids,” he told DRUM (I’m just a hard-working family man, 28 June 2012).
Fortunately Theo is still very much involved with his kids despite his marriage breaking down.
He’s a committed father, another friend says. “He loves his children. He has always provided for his family and I respect that.”
It was Rose who asked for the divorce, the friend continues. “Rose is very independent, she’s no pushover. She saw the marriage wasn’t working and she asked for a divorce.
“She’s not spiteful either, she allows him to see his children often. They’re friends, I guess.”
Rose sounds slightly taken aback when we call her for comment. “I’d love to talk about this but I’m not that kind of person,” she says, her voice husky over the phone. “Maybe one day I’ll write a book. For now, I just want to live my life in peace.”
A friend of hers says Rose is dealing well with the split. “It’s been more than a year and she’s moved on.” The businesswoman is “smart and will find happiness”.
Her life is full and she’s busy. “She’s involved in construction and she’s always on the road either buying or selling property. She just wants to be a great mom. She doesn’t care if he’s dating or not, as long as he is happy.”
THEO wouldn’t discuss whether he’s found love again, but recent social media posts hint he has. “Sharing food with the one you love is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly,” he wrote. The woman he’s been wining and dining is thought to be Vourne Williams (25), a model and student school teacher from Kempton Park, who is 20 years Theo’s junior.
Vourne declined DRUM’s request for an interview but a friend of hers says she caught Theo’s attention in a crowd full of people at an event.
“We were all in the VIP area and they were already friends on social media. He greeted her and left.”
The friend, who doesn’t wish to be named, says “not much happened until they were introduced at another event by our friend”. They’ve been inseparable since. “They were at the Durban July together, in March they were in Phuket [Thailand] for a baecation and then they set off to London with Mafikizolo. He takes Vourne everywhere he goes. Every time we call she says she’s with Theo.”
The singer is also supporting Vourne’s dreams of working with children, her friend adds. In July Theo’s NGO, the Theo Kgosinkwe Touching Lives Foundation, collaborated with the Sibu Sibaca Foundation. As part of the partnership Theo and Vourne spent Mandela Day reading to children in Rabie Ridge, Joburg. They also donated stationery and treated the kids to a small lunch.
“They work really well together,” the friend says. “It’s not just a relationship, but a partnership.”