Beshara Ornellas

Based:  Cape Town

Born to 70’s Rocker, Dave Ornellas from the band Hawk and mom Loreta, Beshara came out screaming and has been using her voice to entertain people ever since. On stage from the tender age of 11, Beshara has had the privilege of traveling the globe, singing for most of her life and feels she is only just getting started. At the age of 16, Beshara toured to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Italy, Portugal and the USA with her mom, dad and brother Daniel. They performed at various festivals, churches, bike rallies and concerts, releasing their first album together called ‘Dave and Family’.

Upon her return to South Africa to finish Matric, Beshara formed a band with her brother called ‘Free’ and the five members of the band toured across South Africa performing at various youth groups and churches. Her Dad was the pastor of a church in Mitchells Plain and led worship at the church from when she was just 16. In grade 11, Beshara entered and won the ‘Hard Rock Cafe’ competition, ‘Stairway to the Stars’, competing against various bands and solo acts. With the money she won in the competition, she recorded her first solo album.

After completing school, Beshara toured with her dad to the States and decided to stay, traveling with an evangelist for a few months and then volunteering at a church in Tampa, doing a ‘sidewalk Sunday school’ for the inner city kids who couldn’t get to church.

After a year in the USA, Beshara and Daniel recorded their first album together and then toured New South Wales, Australia with their family, starting their tour singing at the Hillsong Festival in Sydney. Upon their return to Cape Town, Daniel and Beshara formed the band ‘Naked Lyric’ and toured extensively across South Africa playing at schools, festivals, concerts and churches. The band enjoyed relative success, winning the ‘Battle of the Bands’ in Cape Town, being voted for a SAMA (South African Music Award), having a few songs on rotation on various radio stations across South Africa and having a song on the 5fm top 40. Naked lyric released 3 albums during their time together.

In 2000 ‘Naked Lyric’ disbanded and after a short stint in the fashion industry, Beshara was approached by a band to do a cover gig in the Middle East. She performed in Muscat, Bahrain and Jordan for about a year and then came back to South Africa and did 6 nights a week for 9 months at Sun City. Beshara then decided to settle in Cape Town, bought herself gear and started doing Corporate Functions and private Parties full time. She performed for ex President, F.W. De Klerk’s birthday Party, Pam Golding’s private dinners and many more and had a resident gig over Christmas and New Year at the boutique hotel and spa, Pezula in Knysna for 4 consecutive years.

In 2009 Beshara became a foster mom to babies abandoned or given up for adoption. Living alone in a little apartment in Cape Town, she got her first baby who was just a couple of days old. The social worker delivered this little bundle to her door with just the clothes on her back and Beshara became the baby’s ‘mom’ for 5 months… 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Beshara loved and cared for the little baby until she handed her over to a lovely couple who were unable to have a baby of their own and as incredibly difficult as it was to part with her, Beshara knew she had made a difference in this little person’s world and future. Many babies who are put into institutions develop serious issues that they carry with them into their lives. If a baby is not loved, held and cared for properly, it can develop a condition called ‘Touch deprivation syndrome’ where does not grow or develop properly. Studies have shown that babies who don’t bond with a person in the first few months of their lives, struggle to form bonds throughout their lives… Beshara decided to put her own feelings aside to make a difference.

About a month after handing her first little baby over, Beshara decided to ‘Birth Assist’ a mom who had nobody by her side at the delivery of the baby she was giving up for adoption. It was a very difficult birth as the baby was lying breach (bum first) and was 6 weeks premature. It was an unwritten rule that a foster mom could not care for a baby if they birth assisted the mom but on the way home from the hospital, Beshara felt that she would look after that little baby next. She wrestled with the feelings as she knew it would ‘never happen’. A day later, a social worker called Beshara to ask her to Kangaroo (foster) that little baby as there was nobody else able to take a premature baby. Feeding her every 2 hours, Beshara loved and cared for that little 1.9kg baby for 3 months and then handed her over to a beautiful couple who had already adopted a little boy a couple of years previously and were just thrilled to get their little smiling baby girl.

After singing at Pezula over season, Beshara got back to Cape Town and found out that there was a little baby boy at Tygerberg hospital who wasn’t growing or developing due to the fact that there was nobody holding him. She stepped in and went to the hospital to ‘kangaroo’ the little 900gram baby boy for 2 months for a couple of hours every day she could make it until he was able to go home to permanent care.

In September, Beshara’s precious dad, a healthy and fit man of 62 who still had far too much life in him to live, passed away due to heart failure… This was absolutely devastating to her but his death made her take stock of her life. She realised 2 things… Number one, she has a passion for music and number two, she has a passion for orphaned babies. She has recorded an album in Nashville with the help of her brother Daniel and some friends who have written great songs for her. She is so excited to be doing this original project and working with such great musicians and writers and feels that the pain and loss she has felt over the past years has given her an incredible empathy for people and the ability to pour her heart and soul into this album. Beshara will be releasing her album in the early part of 2013.

Beshara’s heart’s desire is to create music that will touch people’s hearts and hopes that her music will create a platform to positively speak into people’s lives.

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