STRIDES: Shiraaj Andrews, 26, of Mitchells Plain is the Kaapse eie Bruno Mars
STRIDES: Shiraaj Andrews, 26, of Mitchells Plain is the Kaapse eie Bruno Mars
Meet Cape Town’s very own Bruno Mars, who has been sweeping the kinnes off their feet.

Shiraaj Andrews, 26, has been heating up the local airwaves.

His songs Heartbreaker and Cool have received a lot of airtime, but it’s no surprise for the family and friends of the Mitchells Plain singer, whom they’ve dubbed Brunoraaj because of his likeness to the Hawaiian-born megastar.

Shiraaj, a jeweller, has put the diamonds and pearls on the backburner as he belts out gems on stage and on radio.

He says he couldn’t hit a single note before he started out on his musical career in 2009.

But after nearly losing his life on the rugby field in 2007, he decided to give music a chance.

“I was playing rugby for Spine Road High School at the time,” he recalls.

“A player knocked his knee against my head in a tackle.

“The impact caused my skull to crack from my mid-ear to the brain.”

The wing played on but later collapsed because of the pressure on his brain.

He went to hospital only three days later, where doctors scanned his head and told him of the fracture.

The injury affected his ability to work.

“I was afraid of what might happen to me if I went to hospital, and so I prolonged the process because my friend died of the same thing a week before.

“Seeing my mom in tears that day made me realise that I need a change in lifestyle and that time on earth is precious.

“I was put off from school for eight months and had to learn to walk again.

“They couldn’t operate, so I got medication and was left to heal by myself,” he says.

In 2009, he started singing “out of the blue” and was surprised to find he had a good voice.

“I knew this was what I was destined to do and so I followed my heart.

“I’ve now worked with great singers such as Karin Kortje, Nur Abrahams, Waasief Piekaan, Ashur Petersen, James Bhemjee, Loukmaan Adams and more.”

Follow @brunoraaj on Facebook and Instagram.