JUST last week Alen Abrahams was a car guard. He worked as a “poop scooper” and had, at one stage, even sold Grandpa headache powder to cocaine addicts to care for his family.
On Monday, two crazed fans stopped him in the street to get a photograph.
They had recognised the 31-year-old from YouTube where his songs – popular hits such as Justin Bieber’s Baby which he altered with his own Cape Flats lyrics – are getting thousands of views.
On Friday radio personality, Aden Thomas featured Abrahams on his Heart 104.9FM breakfast show.
When Abrahams took the microphone the station’s phone lines lit up.
One caller was top record producer Gabi le Roux who worked with Mandoza and Locnville.
“Kerrie, my vrou maak net kerrie. Sy vergeet van breyani, sy vergeet van die aknee,” (Curry, my wife only makes curry, she forgets about breyani, she forgets about the aknee (traditional Muslim dish) he sang to the tune of Michael Jackson’s Will You Be There.
Thomas and his team posted five songs online. While the tunes had everyone in stitches, they have a deeper meaning. Kerrie is about living in abject poverty. Families often eat one pot of food without meat for a week.
“My music consists of what I see in my community,” said Abrahams from Kalksteenfontein. “Words are always popping up. “I store it in my head, in my ‘terrible-byte’ not my terabyte and when I need it I just Google.”
His other songs include Meisie – to the tune of Bieber’s Baby – about domestic violence – and Pam to the tune of Jackson’s Bad – about transvestites on the street.
The songs have registered 15 000 views on YouTube already. For more than a year cellphone video clips of him performing in the street did the rounds.
Determined to find the man, Thomas started his search. Eventually Thomas’s friend Marlon Kruger tracked him down.
“We have two very firm offers from record producers,” said Thomas.
Kruger said people are anxious to Valentine’s Day and corporate events.
Abrahams said he is not afraid to admit that he is a former drug addict, spent time in jail for his problem and conned drug users out of R250 for a bag of headache powder. But it is his two “beautiful” children who changed his life.
“My daughter is five-years old. It is her crown birthday [yesterday]. I’ve never had a party in my whole life. I haven’t even seen a birthday cake and those are the things I want to make available to them.”