KwaZulu-Natal well represented in top 18 of ‘Idols South Africa’

2012-07-17 00:00

SECOND time lucky teenager, Shekhinah Donnell, from Glenwood, and 25-year-old gospel singer, Khaya Mthethwa, from Umlazi, have made it into the top 18 of this year’s South African Idols competition.

After a tense week of auditions at Sun City, the two KwaZulu-Natal hopefuls received the good news that they were through to the live knock-out rounds of the contest.

Shekhinah (17) had been nervous to face the judges this year, after finding herself unable to cope with the pressure of theatre week last year. “I can’t even explain to you how apologetic I’m feeling,” she told Randall Abrahams. “This year I’m doing it all the way.”

And so far she has kept her promise, wowing Abrahams, Gareth Cliff and Unathi Msengana during the Sun City leg of the reality show.

“You’re already going to be a household name and it’s only been a couple of episodes,” Cliff said during theatre week.

Mthethwa, who wowed the judges at his audition in Durban, said his singing career didn’t get off to a smooth start. “At school we were all forced to audition for the school choir, so from there my teachers would ask me to sing and I never really wanted to,” he recalls.

Fortunately for Idols, both of Mthethwa’s parents are pastors, so he pretty much had to sing in church.

“That is where I fell in love with music and I decided that this is what I wanted to do …,” he said.

Also through to the top 18 is Simphiwe Gwegwe (23) from Port Nolloth, who got his golden ticket to Sun City during the Durban auditions.

Gwegwe used every penny he could scrape together and every favour from friends and family to travel to Durban, in the hopes of fulfilling his dreams.

“Now it’s up to me to showcase the talent that I have and to show how much talent there is in a small community like the one I come from.”

The remaining contestants in the top 18 are: Candy Mosoma (29) and Monde Msutwana (30), from Pretoria; Chloe Kiley (23), and Matthew Sampson (21), from Cape Town; Dominic Neill (19), from Johannesburg; Dumi Masilela (23), from Kempton Park; Jean Huisman (20), from Stellenbosch; Maryke Buffel (22), from Paarl; Melissa Alison (23) and Thabisa Mhlakulwana (29), from Port Elizabeth; Nosipho Mngomezulu (21), from Soshangu­ve; Obakeng Ramaboa (26), from Munciville; Sihle Ndaba (22), from Ermelo; Treasure Mushwana (20), from Tzaneen; and Tshidi Tenyane (28), from Thokoza. Their fate now lies in the hands of the voting public.

The top 18 have been divided into two groups of nine, who will perform on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22 at 5.30 pm respectively.

Fans will have 24 hours to vote for the guys and then another 24 hours to vote for the girls. The results will be announced in a live show at the Soweto Theatre on July 29.

• South African Idol can be seen on M-Net, M-Net HD and Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 107).

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