Benny Afroe (born on May 18th, 1994; Age: 29 years old) is a South African musician, songwriter, and fashion influencer who is best recognized for releasing the hit song “This Feeling” with Ami Faku. The Vth Season artist is presently in a romantic relationship with award-winning singer and dancer Paballo Basetsana Mothapo (aka Pabi Cooper).
After making their relationship public in 2021, the music stars have been going strong as a couple. They shed light on their beautiful love story by working together on a single titled “Do It Right,” released four days before Valentine’s Day 2022. Benny Afroe and Pabi Cooper are not only making headlines in Mzansi for their blossoming relationship but for attaining astounding success in the music scene.
Pabi Cooper’s Boyfriend Benny Afroe is 29 Years Old
Vth Season’s young and musically trained artist, Benny Afroe, was born Benny Riba on May 18th, 1994. He is 29 years old. He has been musically inclined from a young age. As a result, he decided to begin his musical career by adopting a stage name, Benny Afroe.
As a fashion enthusiast, Pabi Cooper’s heartthrob loves rocking the afro hairstyle, and that accounts for the origin of his professional name, Benny Afroe. The hairstyle aligns with the reputable brand he is building in the entertainment sphere, which has made him stand out from the crowd.
Where Does Benny Afroe Come From?
Benny Afroe was born and raised in Middleburg, Mpumalanga, in Limpopo Province. His career choice was hugely influenced by his father, who works as a bass guitarist for various South African artists. As a kid, he always listened to vinyl and VHS cassette tapes from different artists with his dad. These artists include the likes of The Supremes, Brenda Fassie, and The Manhattans.
Coming from Limpopo didn’t make things easy for the young artist at the early stage of his career. Due to a lack of influence from his hometown, people often misunderstood his artistry. Nonetheless, he has described his music as ‘swavy’ – a combination of different sounds.
He Whetted His Music Skills at AFDA
Following in the footstep of his father, Afroe’s passion for music prompted him to learn how to play instruments. He grew up listening to his dad play music, and thus, he began playing instruments like the keyboard, piano, and guitar in childhood. Having fallen in love with music, the 29 years old decided to do music full-time and wanted to study it in school to perfect his craft.
With his father not making it big in music, he objected to his decision. Benny Afroe’s mother, on the other hand, was worried if music would sustain him in the long run. He then decided to please his parents by studying Law. He started off well in the course, but after two years, he realised that he had been wasting time on something he didn’t like.
The young artist wasn’t invested in his studies at the time. He was busy producing music and trying to make a name for himself as a music artist. With his father seeing that he was invested in music which had become a big part of his life, Benny Afroe eventually proceeded to AFDA, South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, to groom his musical talent.
He graduated from the prestigious higher institution with a Live Performance in Music degree in the year 2019. Obviously, earning a degree in music has helped Benny make headway in the star-studded music industry despite launching his career a few years ago.
Benny Afroe’s Musical Journey Began in 2017
At the age of 11, Pabi Cooper’s partner started writing music. He then ventured into music production when he was fourteen years old. Whilst trying to gain his father’s approval, it took the up-and-coming artist some years to break into the music industry. In the year 2017, while at AFDA, Benny Afroe marked the beginning of his music career with the release of a single titled, ‘Hello Baby!’ which became a hit.
The song charted on iTunes in the United States. Subsequently, the singer-songwriter was signed to the record label Vth Season where A-listers like AKA, Ami Faku, Lungisa Xhamela, BigStar Johnson, and Manu WorldStar call home. Since then, he has been making a multi-layered blend of music that includes Hip Hop, Afro-fusion, Pop, and RnB. And his music has strong influences from genres such as Soul, Pop, and Jazz from the 80s and 90s.
In 2020, Benny Afroe hit a milestone in his budding career when he was selected to perform at the 33rd annual South by Southwest Conference and Festivals (SXSW) in the United States. Over 8,000 people vied for a chance to perform at the festival. The Mpumalanga native, however, was hand-selected from the thousands of submissions to showcase his homegrown talent to the world.
It was a dream come true for musically trained Benny, who saw the selection as an opportunity to network with other music artists from all over the world. The festival was held in Austin, Texas, from 16th-22nd March 2022. And about 75,000 people registered to attend the seven-night music festival.
This Feeling Took His Career to The Next Level
In 2021, the ‘Hello Baby’ hitmaker teamed up with award-winning singer Ami Faku to drop ‘This Feeling’, a song that accentuated his level of fame in the country. Soon after its release, it was picked up by notable radio stations across SA. They include Metro FM, Umhlobo Wenene FM, and Motsweding FM.
It also charted in the Top 100 Radiomonitor AirPlay Chart. According to Benny Afroe, he never planned on making the song. It happened that while chilling with Faku, one of their friends—a producer, was playing different beats, and one beat he played clicked for the two artists. Coincidentally, they had similar melodies for the song and, thus, penned their verses. And ‘This Feeling’, a song about an old-school love affair, came about like magic.
Besides the aforementioned single, another Benny Afroe’s song, ‘Good Bye’, was also a commercial success. It made frequent appearances on the Top 100 Radiomonitor Airplay Chart.
Benny Afroe’s Yours Truly Tinder Campaign
Benny Afroe released an eight-track Extended Play titled, ‘Yours Truly’ in July 2021. The EP mainly had sultry and heartfelt love songs like ‘Melodi’, ‘Nguwe’, and ‘Kill Me’. Consequently, the music artist decided to launch a promotion campaign for the Extended Play on the world’s biggest dating platform – Tinder. He opened an account for the EP on the platform, and instantly, it started gaining mainstream attention.
‘Yours Truly’, which Afroe has described as his best work to date, attracted positive responses from the matches on Tinder and had more than 100 likes. People admired the singer’s marketing genius for the campaign. However, his mini-campaign on Tinder was short-lived, as his account was banned on the dating platform in just over a week.
Nevertheless, Pabi Cooper’s boyfriend is considered a trendsetter, having raised the bar once again with a unique marketing strategy that has never been adopted before. Through ‘Yours Truly’, Benny released heartfelt letters to his fans. He felt he was writing a heartfelt letter with every song he wrote. And that’s how the name of the EP came about, as every heartfelt letter usually ends with “Yours Truly” at the end of the page.
In the same 2021, the Middleburg-born was also featured in another heartfelt love song by Stepdaddy titled, ‘Ixesha’. The word “Ixesha” means “time” in isiXhosa. Hence, the single encourages people to take their time and get to know love. Thus far in his budding career, Benny Afroe has worked with several music artists in the country and beyond.
They include King Monada, Zingah, Manu WorldStar, Ami Faku, Bass Mdlongwa, Mrs. Dippy, DJ Qness, DJ Mlu, Afrikasoul, and DJ Van from Morocco.
Pabi Cooper’s Boyfriend Works as a Fashion Influencer
It’s no longer news that Benny Afroe has established new standards in the music and fashion industry. He doesn’t play by the rules of genres and releases a multi-layered blend of music. A famed fashion enthusiast and influencer, Afroe’s impeccable fashion sense has undeniably played a key role in his sudden rise to prominence.
As part of his brand identity, he regularly maintains his afro hairstyle. Little wonder, he caught the attention of Fashion Nova and was made a brand ambassador for Nova Men. He also has an endorsement deal with MTN SA.
Is Pabi Cooper in a Relationship?
Yes, Pabi Cooper is known to be dating fellow music artist Benny Afroe. It’s unknown how the cute couple met and equally when they initiated their romantic affair. Nevertheless, it was noticed that they had been spending time together in late 2021. Eventually, in November 2021, the two made headlines as a new couple.
It was noticed that the lovebirds had grown a fondness for each other. Their relationship was later confirmed when they started sharing posts of themselves hanging out in nightclubs and restaurants on social media platforms. Also, Pabi revealed in an Instagram Live impromptu Q&A that she’s dating the ‘Good Bye’ singer after one of her fans asked her who she was dating. The couple looked good together and seemed to be in love.
Benny Afroe and Pabi Cooper’s Break-up
A few months after Pabi Cooper and Benny Afroe’s relationship went public, it was rumoured that the two had gone their separate ways. The rumour was sparked by a series of posts shared by Pabi on IG. She first raised eyebrows when she shared a Tik Tok video of a woman talking about how men are toxic.
Later on, she shared on her Instagram story a post that read, “I’m glad you left me because I wouldn’t have left you.” She followed it up by saying, “You broke our bond, not me.” Not long after the posts, it was speculated that Benny Afroe had ended his relationship with the ‘Mama’ crooner.
It was also alleged that she deleted pictures of Afroe on her Instagram account, and both reportedly unfollowed each other on Instagram. With Mzansi still in shock at what was going on in the lover’s paradise, the music artists announced their upcoming single, which quickly dismissed the break-up rumour.
To date, it’s still a mystery whether the couple got separated and got back together or the whole thing had been a publicity stunt to draw attention to their collaborative single.
The Cute Couple’s Collaboration Work
Benny Afroe and his sweetheart made a statement about their relationship when they teamed up to release a smash single, “Do It Right,” on February 11th, 2022. The song not only squashed the break-up rumour but indicated that the love between the two is waxing strong. “Do It Right” was inspired by the couple’s love story and reflects on how every relationship has its hurdles.
Hence, it encourages lovers to try their best to make things work in a relationship. The single follows a fusion of beautifully crafted melodies and RnB vocals.
Who Has Benny Afroe Dated In The Past?
Since taking to the global stage for his musical talent, Benny Afroe has not been linked to any romantic partner except his present girlfriend, Pabi Cooper. However, that cannot be said of Cooper, as she was linked to amapiano star Reece Madlisa in early 2021. Alongside Reece, Joocy, and Busta 929, the young star released her smash debut single, “Isiphithiphithi.”
Soon after, the rumour mill said that Pabi and Reece Madlisa had started a romantic affair. Despite the rumour gaining momentum, both artists never commented on it.
Is Pabi Cooper a Dancer?
Yes, Paballo Basetsana Mothapo is a talented professional dancer. She actually started out her career in entertainment as a dancer before deciding to break boundaries in the music industry. She progressed her dancing career when she was offered a gig by Mr. JazziQ, one-half of the popular duo – JazziDisciples, to come dance at one of his Junk park events.
That gave Pabi her break into the entertainment industry. Oftentimes, the young star displays her dancing skills in her music videos. Releasing the visual for her hit single, ‘Mama’, Pabi featured herself in the music video as a young aspiring dancer who lives in the dusty streets of Soweto with her mother. Her life then changed forever after winning a dance competition.
Despite gaining recognition for her dancing skills, Benny Afroe’s girlfriend has often been criticised on social media platforms for her dancing skills. In September 2022, following her dancing performance at the inaugural DStv Content Creator Awards, the award-winning singer was trolled on social media by entertainment blogger Musa Khawula.
He claimed in a post that Pabi Cooper doesn’t know how to dance, hinting that her performance at the award show wasn’t convincing. Pabi, not finding his comment funny, replied to Musa by reminding Musa that she was paid to be there, but she didn’t know about him. In addition to dancing, Paballo Mothapo has won several accolades for her singing prowess, including the 2022 Basadi in Music Award for Song of the Year.