Eliminated contestant Lerato Matsabu on her Idols SA experience - ‘I had to fight to make it through all the rounds’

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Lerato Matsabu
Lerato Matsabu
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  • Lerato Matsabu was eliminated from the Idols SA competition when she didn't get enough votes for the Top 9.
  • It was the second time that the 28-year-old had entered the competition, she last entered in 2010 at 16.
  • She says that she came out of the competition a stronger person.


Viewers had to bid farewell to Lerato Matsabu on Sunday, 18 September 2022, after she did not garner enough votes to make it to the Top 9 of the Idols SA competition.

The 28-year-old says, although she did not get to walk away as a winner, she believes she walked away from the competition as a stronger person.

“My experience on Idols was a rollercoaster of note. There were ups and downs but also I really immensely enjoyed this experience. It was out of this world and was an opportunity of a lifetime so I really had fun,” she shares with TRUELOVE.

READ MORE | Former Idols SA contestant Nandi on her future plans - ‘I’ll return to the show stronger’

“Idols is a character builder and my character is so much stronger now with everything that’s happened on social media and everything else. I believe that I’m a stronger person now because of being in this competition and I’ve had to fight so much to be in all the positions that I was in and to get through to all the rounds. I really enjoyed myself on Idols,” she continues.

Lerato tells us about her time in the competition and more:

Why did you enter the show?

I entered the show because I felt that it was something that I needed to do. Music has always been a passion of mine since I was a child I entered Idols in 2010 when I was 16 years old and that audition did not go well at all. That experience discouraged me as a singer and I lost all confidence in my singing but it was always a passion of mine and my mom would also push me to enter every year because it was something I needed to do. So, I decided to enter this year because I no longer had time in terms of age and that’s what made me enter Idols.

When did you discover that you could sing?

I discovered that I could sing in church after my mom forced me to go to church. I decided to find something fun to do in church and I joined a rock band and started to sing. That’s when I discovered that I actually had a good voice and that God had given me a talent.

How do you feel now after being eliminated from the competition?

More than anything, I’m so grateful. My goal when entering the competition was just to get a golden ticket but God decided to push me further till I got to the Top 10. So, I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be where I am so I am very grateful. Yes, I’m sad and hurt that I didn’t get to win but I’m really grateful and very proud of myself for doing this and getting as far as I have.

READ MORE | Thembi Seete on being an Idols SA judge: ‘The aim is to empower people and not break them’ 

Given another chance, is there anything you would’ve done differently? If so, what?

Yes, I’m an overthinker so one thing I’d do differently is not be in my head so much about my performances and my voice because it really does show when you overthink and you have negative thoughts about yourself. Being in your head also prevents you from leaving your heart on the stage, which is what we all want to do as contestants. I would definitely not overthink so much.

Which round of the competition was your favourite and why?

The round that was my favourite was the Top 12 performances. I got to perform with one of the biggest artists in SA right now, Nomfundo Moh, which was out of this world. She’s amazing and her craft is amazing. It will be something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. The fact that we also got to perform two contrasting songs was very amazing and cool to do. One of the songs was out of my comfort zone but I really enjoyed doing it.

What are some of the challenges you experienced during the show?

Lyrics. I really struggled with lyrics but one thing I did to remember the lyrics was to try to connect with the song and try to make it relatable to myself even when I hadn’t gone through what the song is talking about. That really helped me because during rehearsals I’d sometimes forget my lyrics.

Where do you hope to see yourself in the music industry?

I honestly see myself represented in the entertainment industry holistically. I don’t want to box myself to just the music industry, if there’s any other opportunity open for me I’ll definitely take it with both hands. Music is my first passion and I do want to pursue it to the fullest.

What’s next for Lerato now that you’re no longer on Idols SA?

I’m going back to work but at the same time I’m going to pursue my music career. I’m going to put in effort into my music career and in the entertainment space and I look forward to this next part of my life.

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