Vincent Bones honoured by sitting on the mayor’s chair

2014-12-05 00:00

Idols SA Season 10 winner Vincent Bones walked past the city hall many times but he had never been inside. Yesterday, he was not only in the building, but sitting in the hot seat — the mayor’s chair — from where city affairs are conducted.

Bones, from Pietermaritzburg, was ­invited by Mayor Chris Ndlela, who thanked him for putting Msunduzi on the map. Ndlela confessed that he had not heard of Vincent Bones and had not been watching the show, but everywhere he went he had been told about this ­singing sensation from Pietermaritzburg. Ndlela soon caught the fever and he used his public platforms to urge ­Maritzburgers to vote for a fellow ­resident. The mayor said that Bones had an inspiring story and served as a role model to the young people of Msunduzi.

Ndlela welcomed Bones, his wife, ­Gillian, and his extended family to the Council Parlour yesterday where the Executive Committee was meeting. He said while they were all thrilled that Bones was the winner, they would have honoured him even if he has been the runner-up.

“Your resilience, overcoming a difficult past and staying focused throughout the show, we felt obliged to honour you as you serve as a motivation for other ­aspirant artists and young people in ­general,” Ndlela said.

Not one to waste an opportunity, the mayor used the time to mention the city’s own achievement — getting an improved audit result from the auditor-general. The city moved from a qualified to an ­unqualified audit. He said the city ­appeared to be on a winning streak; not only did it have Bones but, “the City of Choice football team, Maritzburg United, was outshining itself and defying all ­expectations”.

“We used to be known as the Sleepy Hollow, but we must shake off that label, and tell the world of our achievements and of our many residents from all walks of life that are making us proud. We can say that the musician Vincent Bones hails from our city,” he said.

The mayor urged Bones to remain humble and focused. “We need you as a role model for our young people. They must say, ‘I want to be like Vincent Bones’. Scrutinise all those that come close to you and be strong emotionally and ­psychologically,” he said.

Bones said he never dreamt that one day he would be in the city hall. He said the competition was tough and throughout the show he had no idea of the massive support he had on the outside.

A former street child who turned his life around, the Idols winner said he was proud to represent Pietermaritzburg and people from all walks of life.

“As long as somebody’s life is touched, I’m not ashamed of my past and to tell my story.”

The women from the city hall offices who filled the council chamber would not let him leave without a song. Bones sang Let Me Love You, his winning single, and the women shouted their appreciation.

The room where weighty city affairs are debated was transformed into a chamber of fun, gaiety and laughter.

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