Rochelle Veenemans

Rochelle, an exceptional 18-year-old singer, defies expectations and inspires with her remarkable talent and unwavering determination. Despite being Blind, she has shown the world that her voice knows no boundaries. Rochelle attends the school for visually impaired children in Pretoria, where she continues to nurture her passion for music.

At the tender age of four, Rochelle made her solo stage debut alongside renowned South African tenor Manuel Escorsio. Since then, she has become a regular performer at charity events and children’s music theatre productions. She fearlessly competes in various Eisteddfods, consistently leaving audiences in awe of her captivating performances.

Rochelle’s exceptional musical abilities have been recognized through numerous accolades and awards. In 2012, at just seven years old, she received a special award from the South African National Eisteddfod Academy for her breathtaking rendition of Bach’s aria, “Bist du bei mir,” in the grade 1 category. This achievement earned her an invitation to perform at the prestigious Young Performers Showcase at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria.

The following year, Rochelle won the overall Junior Section for Classical Vocal Music at the National Eisteddfod Academy, securing a special Gold Medal Award. Her mesmerizing performance of Mozart’s aria, “Voi che Sapete,” showcased her exceptional talent and left a lasting impression on both judges and audiences alike.

Rochelle’s journey has been marked by numerous highlights, including interviews on SAfm and RSG, and an invitation to perform at the South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind’s Diamond Jubilee Gala Concert at the Joburg Theatre. With a 70-piece symphony orchestra accompanying her, she captivated the audience with her rendition of Puccini’s aria, “O mio Babbino Caro.”

Over the years, Rochelle’s extraordinary vocal abilities have garnered her eight gold medals at the Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria for her renditions of classical and oratorio works. Her dedication to her craft was further recognized in 2018 when she was awarded 100% and a gold medal for her rendition of “I Could Have Danced All Night.”

Beyond her solo endeavors, Rochelle has also been involved in various musical groups, including the girl group Devine Broadway Babes, specializing in contemporary Broadway musicals. Additionally, she was a member of the Klassika Vocal Ensemble, where she contributed to performances of Pergolesi’s deeply moving Stabat Mater.

Rochelle’s talent extends beyond singing, as she successfully passed her first ballet Grade 1 Class Award for the Royal Academy of Dance in 2020. Her commitment to excellence is reflected in her achievements both on and off the stage.

In recognition of her remarkable talent and advocacy for persons with disabilities, Rochelle was appointed as the national Goodwill Ambassador for the Casual Day Projects in 2022. Her role allows her to inspire and uplift others while raising awareness for the inclusion and empowerment of individuals with disabilities.

While Rochelle focuses on completing her final year of school, she continues to embrace the belief that “anything is possible under any circumstance.” This motto serves as a guiding principle in her life, reminding her and those around her that determination, passion, and a positive mindset can overcome any challenge. As she looks to the future, Rochelle’s extraordinary talent and indomitable spirit are sure to leave an enduring mark on the world of music and beyond.