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Kwazulu-Natal has a pair of shining stars. As the eighth season of Idols SA heats up, Shekhinah Donell and Khaya Mthethwa are proving to be the fans’ favourites.
With Facebook fan pages dedicated to them, thousands of followers on Twitter and people across the country voting for them week in and week out, they have become a formidable Durban duo.
Shekhinah, 17, is in Grade 12 at Queensburgh Girls’ High School and has a powerful voice.
She was abandoned as a baby and adopted by the Donells.
She loves music and has been performing for years. She has been the star of her school’s annual musical and theatre productions.
“Shekhinah is a very social and friendly girl. She is very motivated and has always taken centre stage,” said her father, Phil Donell.
Shekhinah entered Idols last year, but did not make the top 10. This year she was more determined than ever to win.
“We are excited and very proud. We knew she would do well,” said her father.
He believes his daughter will be able to handle the |fame that could come with winning Idols.
“She’s very mature and will take it in her stride.”
Khaya Mthethwa, who is from Umlazi, has a church background.
The 25-year-old’s father is a pastor, and he has sung gospel music for years.
He attended the Highway Christian Academy school in Pinetown. He began singing at 11 and is now a professional musician and a member of the Joyous Celebration Spiritual Singing Group.
His former music teacher, Ryan Canning, said the Idols finalist had always been enthusiastic.
“He followed directions very well and was a pleasure to teach. We thought he would do well,” Canning said.
Mthethwa plays multiple instruments and composes his own music.
On Sunday, the pair impressed the Idols judges again.
Shekhinah had the surly Randall Abrahams on his feet with her performance of the Macy Gray hit I Try.
“I thought that every moment of that was really good,” the Idols’ judge said enthusiastically.
“That was fantastic,” Abrahams said.
Mthethwa sang R Kelly’s I Am the World’s Greatest.
Judge Unathi Msengana praised his performance, saying it was “wonderful and awe-inspiring”.