By Christine Lavelle
FORMER X Factor hopeful Gamu Nhengu took her mind off her family’s deportation plight as she enjoyed a night out at the MOBO awards in Liverpool.
The 18-year-old made her first public appearance since being booted off the show by Cheryl Cole during the Judge’s Houses round, which she admitted was “gutting”.
As she posed on the red carpet in a little black dress and leopard print heels, Gamu said: “Have I got over the pain? I guess so.
“It was gutting but the love I’ve got from people has definitely helped to heal the wound.
“Since leaving the X Factor, I’ve been speaking to a lot of influential people within the music industry who have all said they like me.
“I’m in negotiations with several important people and a lot of work has been offered to me and I’m hoping something can come of it.
“I want to carry on singing – it’s what I want to do.”
Gamu has lived in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire for eight years with her mum and two brothers Milton, 12, and Marty, 10.
But complications with her mother’s visa means the whole family are now faced with the possibility of deportation to their native Zimbabwe.
‘Up in the air’
Their visa application was rejected by the Home Office, who claim the singer’s mother, Nokuthula Ngazana, collected £16,000 of benefits they were not entitled to.
Ms Ngazana’s lawyer Francis Farrell said their fate is likely to be decided by the end of this week.
Gamu said: “’It’s still a little up in the air – we don’t know what’s happening and haven’t had any contact yet.”
The Music Of Black Origin awards celebrated its 15th anniversary at the Echo Arena on Wednesday, co-hosted by pop starlet Alesha Dixon and Radio 1 DJ Reggie Yates.
Tinie Tempah took home the Best Newcomer Award, while the Best Album went to 2008’s X Factor success story JLS.
To see all of the night’s winners visit the MOBO website.