“Idols SA” gave fans and its contestants an epic farewell season on Sunday.
Going head to head in the finale were Thabo Ndlovu and Princess MacDonald, but it was Ndlovu who emerged victorious.
“I am still taking it in. Today is the first day that I actually sat down and comprehended everything that’s been happening, so yeah, I’m coming to the true reality of things and it’s been amazing so far,” he said.
Speaking on his journey throughout the final season, he shared that if it wasn’t for his supporters, he wouldn’t have got through it.
“My journey had its ups and downs, and I think the one thing that motivated me each week was the supporters.
“I use to always think to myself, if not for me, for them. People sit and watch the show and they have expectations, but more so, people believe in you. They come with hope and expectation. The support has been amazing.”
The finale, which was held at Mosaïek Teatro in Johannesburg, saw Ndlovu belt out the soulful lyrics of “A Thousand Years”, the powerful “Lakutshon Ilanga” and now his first single, “iSlungu”.
His performance won the hearts of fans.
“‘A Thousand Years’ was a choice from production, and with ‘Lakutshon Ilanga’ it was a matter of saying that it’s all coming to an end.
“If ever people needed to vote for the last time, this was that song they needed to vote for. I did all that I could have done at that point.”
Ndlovu's victory came with life-changing prizes, which includes a R1 million cash prize from Mzansi Magic, a new Toyota Vitz, a technology bundle from Huawei worth R65 000, R100 000 worth of musical equipment from Yamaha, a wardrobe to the value of R100 000 from Truworths and a recording deal from Feel Good Music.
And MacDonald received all their live show outfits plus a fashion voucher to the value of R50 000.
“Winning all these prizes is a starting point. The advice I got from a lot of people in production was not to be quick to spend the money, because excitement has set in.
“They said I should make wise decisions. Put the money away and take time to think of where I want to be in future. And ask myself how does all these things that I’ve accumulated help me get there.”
On staying grounded in the entertainment space, Ndlovu said that he will rely on his morals and values brought to him by his parents and community.
“I think values and morals will help me stay grounded. My parents and community have instilled good morals in me to say ‘outside of the material things, who are you?’
“Material things come and go. So staying true to myself and not trying to do things because I want to trend or feel like I’m losing relevance. I would rather lose relevance, but remain true to myself, than to be relevant and lose myself.”
About his time on the competition with his competitor, MacDonald, he shared how the two became close friends and always reassured each other when times got tough.
“Princess was amazing as a competitor. God had destined this from day one. We clicked from Theatre Week and became friends.
“I remember we even said that God-willing we go all the way and end up being the top two. We said we have to remain truthful to who are as people and secondly, we were representing our entire province, so we said regardless of who takes it, we have achieved more than what money can ever give us.
“Even before they announced the winner she reminded me that whoever wins, we need to celebrate each other and not have any animosity among each other. She’s been quite a sport.”
To his supporters and newfound fans, Ndlovu said, “I absolutely love you and I am thankful for each and every one of you.
“I am who I am today because you have made me who I am and I just hope and pray that this journey does not end with the ending season of ‘Idols SA’ but we continue this journey and make more memories together. I love you,” he said.
“Idols SA” announced in February that the show will end after this season, after failed efforts to revitalise it last year.
“Idols SA” may have concluded but fans can relive the magic of season 19 on DStv Stream, as well as enjoy clips on Mzansi Magic’s official YouTube channel.