Having fun: Judith Sephuma, left, seems game for anything in Clash of the Choirs.
Having fun: Judith Sephuma, left, seems game for anything in Clash of the Choirs.

‘Hotstix’ not so hot, but doesn't get chop

By Munya Vomo Time of article published Mar 11, 2013

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Okay, I am probably going to get into trouble for saying this, but there seems to be some bias when it comes to judging Bra Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse’s choir.

Of course the man is a legend and we are forever indebted to him for his music that forms part of the country’s history, but after Thembi Seete’s departure, then Winnie Khumalo’s, someone has to say it.

Both ladies killed it in the past two episodes and Hotstix’s singers did not deliver. In the first elimination episode it should have been him and Zakes Bantwini in the bottom two, not Seete. In yesterday’s show, he again didn’t get the hip hop theme right, which is understandable as he is not of the beats ’n’ rhyme generation. Yet, he still escaped the chop.

All the judges are guilty of this bias as they keep tiptoeing around him, giving him the impression that he is doing exceptionally well. When they first announced how this show would work I was concerned about this because once you have big names involved in a competition, egos come along, too. If you think I am misguided, do yourself a favour and log on to Twitter and track down #COTC when the show next airs and see how many people think this choir is so amazing it reaches celestial heights.

While you and I may think this show is about this choir versus that choir, the truth is the competition is between the choirmasters. They are, after all, the ones who built those choirs and they arrange the songs and the choreography. So essentially it is their product.

Please, judges, we are not sensationalising issues, but be fair. All the choirmasters are masters in their respective careers and have nothing to prove. If they joined the show in the right spirit they should not be hurt by constructive criticism. I am not saying Hotstix’s people can’t sing, they just can’t match the rest.

All right, I’m done with my rant.




Being the loudest in the past episode, we thought it best to have a chat with the animated Rebecca Malope about yesterday’s episode.

As a presenter on Gospel Time, a judge on I Want to Sing Gospel, and with 34 albums under her belt, the woman obviously knows what she is talking about.

“I love the the fact that these kids are picked from the streets and had no clue as to how to begin their music careers,” said Malope.

“I know most of them are Rebecca fans and me being on the show helps them be confident enough to know that they, too, can do well in music.”

We chatted about the choirmasters’ performances, and Malope pointed out that some had an advantage over others: “I think the choirmasters who studied music have an added advantage because they know what to look for, how to change keys, and what a song will sound like before they are done with it. I salute them and, personally, I would never do that – it is too hard.”




Back to Hotstix. I hope you saw his singers do the hip hop moves that would make Michael Jackson cringe in his grave. And what was up with the tight body suits? It was a brave yet unnecessary attempt which even had judge Anele Mdoda advise them to decide whether to dance or not, rather than put on a mediocre show.




Judith Sephuma is so into her act you want to watch her a lot longer than the others. She has fun with her choir and dances with them to show some unity. Yesterday she even had one of the legs of her pants pulled up, LL Cool J style, to blend in well with the hip hop theme. The only thing she was missing was a Jesus piece with diamonds on it.




Things have changed a bit from last week. Bantwini felt the reality of almost being evicted after being in the bottom two last week, so he brought his A game. King Khaya, however, remains in the running for the top spot.


• Clash of the Choirs airs on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) at 5.30pm every Sunday.

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