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“I was invited to audition for a gospel show and I reluctantly went,” says Khaya Mthethwa (pictured).
The audition was for the show Gospel Alive, which starts next month on Mzansi Magic. The production team was looking for a host and Mthethwa toyed with the idea of possibly being their ideal candidate.
“I thought it would be a great job to have, but when I actually got to audition I didn’t think anything would come out of it. In fact, I forgot all about it, but I got a surprise call to say the casting agents liked me and wanted me to come in for a screen test. I passed that stage, too, and now we are shooting episodes for the show,” he said.
The show will see the Idols SA winner host some of the most exciting names in gospel music and learn what they are up to and what music to expect from them.
“At Gospel Alive we bring in the cream of the crop on the local gospel scene. I am talking about people from Rebecca Malope to Loyiso Bala. They tell us what they have been busy with, plus they give us a live performance of some their favourite material,” he said.
It is interesting that he mentioned Malope because she has a show, Gospel Time, that’s almost identical to Gospel Alive, which airs on SABC2. We asked Mthethwa how the two productions differ.
“This is a much younger and vibey show. We are looking at a different target market altogether. The show is centred on music and we play all our music live and without backtracks or lip-synching. We want to give the viewer a taste of what the real singers on our show can do,” he explained.
As a musician himself, it comes as no surprise that Mthethwa is more than just a host on the show.
“I composed the theme song for the show and had fun doing that. Also, with every episode I am always involved with the arrangement of the hymns that we use,” he said.
Gospel Alive is set to premiere early next month and will be a 26-episode package which is already keeping Mthethwa and crew very busy.
“We are busy shooting and our day starts at 5am and I wrap up after 10pm. It is a lot of work, but the fun parts make you forget you are working,” he said.
With this season of Idols SA at the top six stage, Mthethwa confessed that he has his eye on two contestants, but he can’t decide who will win.
“I like Musa and Sonke. They are really good at what they do. I will probably pay them a visit right at the end of the show,” he said.
• Gospel Alive premieres on Sunday, November 3, at 7pm on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161).