SHINING STAR: Making a name for herself on the KZN music scene is singer Zinhle Madela, from Mandeni. She will be one of the performers at this year’s Ignite music showcase, taking place later this month.
DURBAN - WHEN singer Zinhle Madela left her hometown of Mandeni, outside KwaDukuza, a few years ago, dreaming of making it big onstage in Durban, she had a list of venues where she wanted to perform.

The list included uShaka, the ICC, Moses Mabhida Stadium and the Durban July.

“I had this list and I knew that if I worked hard I would be able to reach my goals and make my community and family proud,” said the 23-year-old UKZN community development and psychology graduate who sings jazz.

She was one of the winners of last year’s Ignite talent show, created by South African music mogul Lindelani Mkhize, to unearth and mentor young talent. Mkhize is known as one of the pioneers of the South African music landscape, started the South African branch of Sony Music, co-founded successful choir Joyous Celebration and created the now annual Hazelmere Jazz Festival.

Madela was one of the young artists in the first batch of talent mentored as part of Ignite, and she, together with a new crop of selected artists, will perform at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on December 22.

“Ignite is an incredible programme to be part of, all the artists became like family, supporting each other’s gigs and spreading the word. It’s now up to us to use the training we received to build ourselves up in the path we choose,” she said.

As part of the build-up to the show later this month, up-and-coming artists were put through a strict selection process, submitting their music material via social media platforms.

They were mentored in skills such as creative business ideas, marketing and how to network.

Madela, since her performance at Ignite, has managed to cross off most of the venues on her list.

“I am very happy to say that after all the mentoring we received, many of my goals came true. I’ve performed at many of the places I wanted to, and I’m still growing. I get many bookings and I know how to manage myself. And I’ve even been able to combine my qualification with my singing, educating communities on important topics through performance,” she said.

Several other members of the cast of the first Ignite last year, went on to do achieve many successes, said Madela, who also released a single with DJ Nastor.

This year’s Ignite will feature a 60-member cast. Tickets available at Computicket.