Bonang returns to choral roots

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After sassy Bonang Matheba (pictured) left Live, many people wondered what would become of her. The answer? Many things.

Not so long ago, in her role as a judge, she was instrumental in the selection of Nomuzi Mabena as MTV Base’s next VJ.

Now she will be the host of the first South African adaptation of the hit US show Clash of the Choirs. Of course, we will see another side to Matheba from the one we have come to know, but she shed light on why this show is so opportune.

“Most people were first introduced to me as a VJ and my love for music is very deep,” she said.

“I loved this project primarily because of the other cast members in the production (all well known, a list of musicians and personalities whom I love and respect and look up to) and because I have such a big love affair with South African music.”

The show will have a number of choirs from across the country competing in various challenges.

Seven celebrities who have excelled in music will audition and nurture the choirs of their choice.

Each celebrity will then act as a head choirmaster, pushing their group to a finale that could see them win R250 000, which will be donated to a charity of their choice.

“I have always wanted to host a reality-type show such as Idols, X Factor and the like, so this opportunity came at the perfect time,” said Matheba.

“I was head-hunted for this particular show, and my heart just told me do it. Every time I have listened to my heart I have always ended up making exciting, life-changing decisions.”

Interestingly, the former VJ had a musical background way before we knew her as a media personality. It explains why this show is close to her heart.

“I was in a choir, the junior choir at Dominican Convent School,” she said proudly.

“It was the most successful choir to come out of that school. What people don’t know is that I can also sing. I have no intentions of pursuing a music career, but it is one of my many hidden talents.

“I’m so happy I joined the junior choir – it helped me with my performances and introduced me to the world of arts and culture.”

If you have your doubts about whether she should be doing a show like this, Matheba urges you to think again. She is positive she will pull it off, just like she has everything else.

“Most people are thinking, ‘we don’t see the connection between Bonang and choral music’. Wait and see, just like the American version, this show is going to have many twists and turns.

“The choirs won’t only be singing choral music – this is the part most people don’t know. I choose the projects I’m part of very, very carefully– there is a reason why I chose to be part of this. Wait and see,” she explained.

Having grown up in a household where the gospel group Joyous Celebration was the soundtrack at every gathering, spring-cleaning session and celebration, Matheba will be in her element when she hosts the show.

“I remember watching the Soweto Gospel Choir and the recording of Zahara’s DVD at Carnival City and I fell in love,” she said.

“Choral music isn’t urban, and it does not exude any sexiness. Clash of the Choirs is going to change that. I, as a host, hope to change that.”

• Auditions for Clash of the Choirs begin today. For the entry form and more details visit www.mzansimagic.tv


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