WATCH | Teen abandoned at birth hopes to sing her way to a better life
A Cape Town teenager who was abandoned hours after being born now has her eyes set on changing her life for the better - using opera.
Bianca Solomons and her vocal coach, Maritza Truter, are doing all they can to raise R150,000 to get her to the US, where she hopes to perform on the Talent America stage.
Solomons told our sister publication TimesLIVE: "Music is my life, food and dream. I want to pursue it even after school."
Her story is one of inspiration in the face of adversity.
Ellen Fouché, the woman who adopted her 16 years ago, said Solomons was born in a public toilet. A short while later, her biological mother came knocking at Fouché's door to ask for water.
"She handed the baby over to me to hold. I noticed she was not clean, so I gave her some of my elder daughter's clothes to wear," said Fouché.
"She then said she needed to run an errand but didn't know what to do with the baby in the meantime. She left the child with me and said she was coming back, but she never did. Three days later, I went to social workers."
Seven months later, authorities managed to find Solomons' biological mother, but she insisted that the child remain with Fouché.
Fouché said her daughter had a beautiful voice and hoped it would take her far. "Bianca grew up in challenging circumstances, but we want to focus on her future and where she is headed, rather than dwell in the past," she said.
"She is the sunshine of my life and I support her."
After moving several times over the years, Solomons and Fouché currently live in a Wendy house behind a family friend's house in Bellville. Solomons' older siblings have already left home and her parents are living separately.
Solomons is confident that music is the way to a better life.
"My next goal is to get my mother a better place to live in. It kind of hurts seeing her living in these conditions," she said, adding that she knows she can achieve this by "singing her heart out".
Also on her to-do list is ensuring that more opera houses are opened in South Africa.
"I dream of singing on an international stage so that the world can know that there are more opera singers from South Africa and that we have incredible talent," she said.
Her manager Samantha Oliphant, the founder and managing director of SJ Artists, said she was proud to be associated with Solomons. "She has such an incredible talent that you can't find anywhere. I am excited for the year ahead, with lots of things happening for this little dynamite," she said.
The next round of Talent America takes place from June 2019, which Solomons qualified for by winning gold in the Talent Africa competition last year.
"She will get a chance to meet international scouts and land a contract with the industry’s best," Truter wrote on her crowdfunding page.
"Please help us so that she can reach her potential."