Sunday evening saw Gamu miss out on a place in the X-Factor Live shows to the outrage of fans across the UK. Yesterday Miss Nhengu was delivered yet more crushing news when her family were denied the right to remain in Britain. The family must return to Zimbabwe or face deportation after their visa application has been denied.
Gamu thanked fans for their support after she was rejected on last weekend’s X-Factor, saying “Thank you so much to everyone. I’m overwhelmed by the support. The whole experience has been amazing and I’m doing fine.” Gamu’s dream of being able to help her mother through building a singing career in the UK has been shattered now that both must return to the country they fled.
Gamu’s mother, Nokuthula Ngazana, left Zimbabwe for Britain in an attempt to build a better life for her children. Nokuthula came to Scotland and studied at Stirling University, where she qualified as a nurse. Whilst her mother studied, Gamu was left behind in poverty-stricken Harare, caring for her brothers and waiting for their mother to send for them. Gamu and her brothers joined their mother in Tillicountry when Gamu was 13 years old. Miss Ngazana was allowed to stay in Britain under the UK Fresh Talent scheme but her visa expired on the 29th of August. The family reapplied and until yesterday had been waiting for a response.
The Daily Mail has revealed that Nokuthula claimed for benefits whilst working as a nurse, in contravention of immigration rules. During their 8 year stay the family were not allowed access to benefits and Nokuthula was required to support herself and her family independently. Immigration officials have claimed that Nokuthula received thousands of pounds of benefits over the years and has broken the conditions of her visa. The family have no right of appeal against the decision and Gamu, as a dependent, was also refused and must leave the country with her mother.
ITV received 600 complaints after The Daily Mail reported a story that claimed X-Factor Producers had told Cheryl not to pick Gamu due to doubts regarding her immigration status. Cheryl is reportedly hurt by the reaction of X-Factor fans to her decision to take through Katie and Cher rather than Gamu. Scotland Yard and X-Factor managers are reportedly investigating a death threat made against Cheryl due to the controversy. The message was sent across the UK over Blackberry messenger and included the phrase ‘Every1 has a bullet for you’.
Cheryl was allegedly advised not to choose the Zimbabwean singer as her wildcard entry and latest information proves this would have been impossible. It has been claimed that thousands of fans have threatened to boycott voting unless Gamu is brought back, but it seems that they will have to petition the UK Borders Agency rather than X-Factor Producers. Cheryls choice of wildcard entry remains unknown and now it appears her options are one choice short. Raquel Thomas, Anastacia Baker, Treyc Cohen and Keri Arrindell all remain in with a chance to join the live acts next Saturday. Treyc Cohen is rumoured to be taking up the wildcard place this saturday after her 2nd attempt at the X-Factor crown.