It really seems like yesterday that Simba Mhere burst on to our television screens as SA’s latest hotshot presenter.
The man was the winner of the Top Billing national presenter search. He came from nowhere and charmed the judges with his confidence and infectious personality.
Now, just over two years later, the show is back at it again, in search of yet another addition to their team, and Mhere is on the road with them helping search for a screen partner.
It was him in those long queues not so long ago and so it is interesting that he is now playing Ryan Seacrest in this process.
“I know people think that it has been a year since I joined the crew, but it has been two,” said Mhere.
“This is not an annual showcase. Top Billing decides when they feel they need a new addition and they go on the road to look for the person. I am just glad that this time I am on the other side of the fence,” he said.
Even though it is more than 24 months later, Mhere remembers his audition as if it was yesterday.
“I auditioned in Johannesburg and it was really hectic. The first day I went it was so full I decided to go back. I came back later and slept in my car so that I would become one of the first to audition. I figured if I came to the judges looking fresh I would be able to appear presentable and also do justice to my act.”
And just as he planned when his turn came, it was in the morning and he gave the audition his best shot. He even went a little over the top at the end, but he feels that was when he sealed the deal.
“I was done with my rehearsed piece when I decided to pull a stunt that would separate me from the rest. I asked them when I was done whether I was expected to take my top off.
“They laughed and I walked up to them and flexed a bicep, then looked into the camera and said, ‘See guys, size does count’.
“They chatted me up 10 to 15 minutes after that and I am sure it made the others outside really nervous,” he reflected.
Now that he is on the road with the same people who scouted him, Mhere has some words of advice to the would-be contenders.
“It is very simple. Make them remember you. I asked them when we were in the top 14 why they chose me and they said it was because they remembered me,” he said.
* The auditions have already been to Bloemfontein and Durban. They will be in Port Elizabeth on May 24 and 25, Polokwane on May 28, Cape Town on June 1 and finally in Johannesburg from June 8 to 11.