UK: X Factor legend Gamu looks very different 14 years since shunning fame after deportation row
By The Mirror (UK)
Back in 2010, Gamu Nhengu was just a teenager when she auditioned in front of thousands hoping to become the next big name in the music industry.
But before belting out the lyrics of the song she prepared, the eighteen-year-old aspiring musician shared the tragic story she risked being deported back to her home country Zimbabwe.
While Gamu didn’t have much luck on the show after being controversially booted from the competition by judge Cheryl Tweedy, she has come a long way since that moment.
She made a brief comeback to the show in 2013 after radio host and former contestant Rylan Clark launched a nationwide campaign to find her.
Now, 31, Gamu has turned her back on the spotlight for a much quieter life with her handsome music shop worker husband Jamie Rintoul, after the pair tied the knot back in 2017.
The couple who live in London regularly enjoy hikes and travelling abroad. According to her LinkedIn profile, Gamu is employed by The Chapar, a menswear styling startup, and previously worked as a stylist at Topshop.
In new pictures, Gamu has ditched her iconic short locks for a braided hairstyle and rocks a natural makeup look. She appears chic in some of her stylist outfits, a far cry from the experimental style of a shy teenager.
Gamu once candidly admitted she turned fans away when they stopped her in the street and pretended she was somebody else – and said she wasn’t prepared for the attention she was gaining.
“To be completely honest I was trying very hard to pretend that the past 6 years had not happened,” she said.
The star who has over two thousand followers on Instagram continued: “If you stopped me in the street and asked me if I was ‘Gamu from X factor’ I 99% probably would’ve said ‘no’.
“And honestly, if you do it now it might still be the same. I’m 24 now and I see myself as a baby when I entered into the music industry, something I was wholly unprepared for” she said.
“I wish someone had pulled me to the side and forewarned me that it was 80% sleepless nights and 20% a bit of a giggle.
“I let other people speak for me, dress me and reroute me until ‘ me’ had become nothing but a mere concept.
“I was young and incredibly naive. Too polite for my own good, never standing up for myself. Never exposing lies that were spread. Instead, I just hid away and tried to pretend it wasn’t happening.”