Durban ‘Idols’ hopefuls feel joy, pain

It is par for the course for the Idols judges to sit through the good, the bad and the so awful only their mothers would be proud of their ‘vocal prowess’. On Sunday, TV viewers will get to see an interesting mix at the show’s KwaZulu-Natal uShaka auditions. Debashine Thangevelo chatted to two hopefuls, on opposite sides of the talent spectrum.


girl in the silver dress and black veil who did Bad Romance. pic Cathy Pinnock

OOZING confidence, Khaya Mthethwa felt it was a case of the timing being right for him to audition.

The 25-year-old was born and raised in Umlazi. Now staying in the CBD, he sheds light on his background.

“I’m a pastor’s kid at the Umlazi Oasis Fellowship Centre. I grew up singing and started venturing into music when I joined Joyous Celebration. But my heart was set on Idols – but the Christian community doesn’t really allow for that. For me, it was just the big push I needed.”

So why audition only now?

“I think I have grown enough. And I felt I needed to jump into this ocean and see what happens. I don’t want to live my life going, ‘If only…’ Just wondering would be worse,” says Mthethwa.

And the song he chose – Justin Bieber’s Just the Way You Are – was a rather risky gamble. After all, Gareth Cliff and Randall Abrahams aren’t known for being big fans of such music.

“I wanted to grab the judges’ attention,” he defends. “Yes, I knew it was risky. But I also believed that if I put my stamp on it, I would be able to impress.”

Though nervous – he pulled it off.

“I sing in front of between 2 000 and 2 500 people at church every Sunday. The nerves I feel there were nothing compared to what I felt in front of those three judges. But their big smiles and warm attitude made it easier,” he smiles.

With the episode airing this week, he says: “Gareth said: ‘Thank you Durban!’ And I don’t think I want to communicate what Unathi said. But they all gave me an amazing response. And Randall gave a prediction…”

Well, Mthethwa clearly wowed the judges enough to secure that golden ticket!


SIPHINDILE Mwelasa, 25, is the perfect example of how reality can crush those dreams.

An unemployed, single mother of a four-year-old boy, Mwelasa lives with her mother and sister in Inanda.

Not the sharpest tool in the shed – she didn’t even get the name of the artist whose song she had selected right – I am not surprised the judges gave her a thumbs down.

“I have a passion for singing. It was always my dream to sing,” she shares.

Relying on her efforts singing at concerts while at school, Mwelasa decided to brave the outcome and audition for Idols.

“I chose Debelah Morgan’s It’s Not Over. It is a song that means a lot to me,” she says.

Although the hopeful felt her audition went well, the judges didn’t concur, I’m afraid.

But she hasn’t relinquished hope.

“I’m out now, but I will try again next year,” she assures.