The Huffington Post Andy Campbell First Posted: 02/08/12 08:46 AM ET Updated: 02/08/12 12:47 PM ET
Some has-been performers will do anything to keep their careers alive. This one, apparently, tried to do so by playing living dead.
Thousands of South Africans swarmed the Kwazulu-Natal province this week, hoping to catch a glimpse of a man claiming to be the Khulekani "Mgqumeni" Khumalo, a legendary Zulu folk musician who has been dead for more than two years, according to ABC News.
Cops who investigated the strange "re-appearance" of the singer-songwriter ended up arresting 28-year-old Sibusiso John Gcabashe.
Apparently, Gcabashe's story that he'd been held captive in a cave by zombies and forced to sing and eat mud to survive raised some eyebrows.
"I'm so happy about reports of the arrest because im a longtime friend of Khumalo," said the late pop star's buddy, Phumlani Ndlovu, to the BBC. "There was no way I could be fooled as to his identity."
Cops immediately began to question the alleged impostor when he showed up in the back of a truck on Sunday, claiming that Khumalo had not died, The Mercury reported. He told a burgeoning crowd that he'd been kidnapped by a healer who had kept him in a cave in the woods for years -- guarded by zombies.
Had he not escaped, the paper reported, Gcabashe said he would have been turned into a zombie himself.
Cops fingerprinted and arrested Gcabashe just days after his alleged fraudulent tirade, but some, including Khumalo's family, didn't get the benefit of skepticism. Two of Khumalo's wives, his daughter and even his grandmother believed the impostor was really him, even after they'd met in person.
"There is no way I can get confused over [Khumalo], it really is him," said the grandmother, Zintombi Mseleku. "He is looking a little worn, and his cheeks are less chubby, but it's him."
A court hearing set for next week will determine what charges, if any, will be filed against Gcbashe, the BBC reported.
Maskandi music is the South African music of the traveler, and traditionally played on simple, portable instruments. At his faux homecoming, Gcbashe allegedly declined to sing for the crowd.