Big hope for Idol's Pieter West

By admin
03 September 2010

His real name is Pieter Westhuis Botes - and he’s officially the coolest accountant in South Africa.

Idols judge Mara Louw says the 25-year-old can do her books any time -and he’d probably be able to do the rest of South Africa’s too if the support he enjoys in the competition is anything to go by.

The guy with the shy smile has adopted the pseudonym Pieter West to appeal to Afrikaans and English viewers, the Idols rocker explains.

He has no formal musical training and a few years ago dared sing only around the braai, Pieter says at the Idols house in Randburg.

But, of course, he’s won a place in Idols top 10 and is now singing in front of thousands. It’s a giant leap for him, he says – and it almost didn’t happen.

When he was stuck in a long queue at the Idols Bloemfontein auditions he decided he’d had enough and wanted to go home. He wouldn’t get anywhere anyway, he thought.

He was in the queue from 7 am. By noon he’d had enough and gave up his place in the queue. But the group of friends there to support him wouldn’t accept that and they talked him into trying again.

By 3.30 pm he was back in the queue and was the last person to audition. When Pieter heard he was through to the next round he immediately phoned his parents, Hennie and Faith. Then he called his grandmother, Jean von Solms, in Koffiefontein, the small Free State town where he grew up.

Pieter has the ability to make the most of any situation, Faith says. That’s why she’s convinced he will go far in the music world.

His life is now very different from what it was a few months ago. He gives autographs to screaming fans and people recognise him.

“But I’m just plain Pieter and don’t really feel I’ve done anything to make people act like that,” he says, scratching his head in disbelief.

He says growing up in Koffiefontein helped him to stay grounded. “That’s where I learnt moral values and where my softheartedness comes from.”

Read all about Pieter's dreams in the YOU of 9 September 2010

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