First in line, Omgweza Mshumpela holds up her Khaya my inspiration poster. Pictures: Sandile Ndlovu


Two thousand people stood in line, some touching up their make-up, while others practiced their song choices or even prayed.

One of them could be the winner of this year’s Idols SA.

Auditions for the reality music show took place at The Playhouse yesterday, and a determined Ongezwa Mshumpela from Mthatha was the first in line. Mshumpela arrived at Durban City Hall at midday on Friday, and spent the night on the steps.

Mshumpela, an experienced singer who has performed back-up vocals for gospel singers like Dumi Mkokstad and Lusanda Mcinga, is relying on her fighting spirit to get her far in the competition.

“As an orphan I’ve always looked after myself,” she said, “and I’ll fight until I win.”

Other young singers from around the province who queued yesterday for their shot at fame and fortune included Jarryd Wilson, 18, who has been singing since 2010. He is in megatronics (mechanical electronics), but is ready to give it up for music. “I plan to study music next year anyway,” he said. Jarryd’s favourite Idols judge is Unathi Msengana, “because she’s nice”.

A familiar face at the auditions was KwaMashu singer Prime Zulu. This was his fourth time auditioning. Last year he fell short of the top 20. “It’s the passion and the hunger that keep me going,” he said. “This year I have really connected with myself and I understand what is expected of me.”

Zulu’s parents have never seen him perform and he believes that this is the year they will finally see him, and their support will help him reach his dream.

Zulu has worked as a waiter, a call centre agent and everything in-between, but he “can’t do anything as well as singing”. “Music is what I was born to do,” he said.

Mondli Mpanza, 30, was the last person in line. He works as a clerk but believes he was “created to be a singer”. His arms are covered in musical note tattoos, showing his love for music.

Sisters Nobuhle, 20 and Nomfundo Mkhize, 21, were two of many singing while waiting in line.

Nobuhle said she started singing as soon as she started talking. The sisters said they were looking forward to Randall Abrahams’s criticism.

Sduduzo Mathe, 21, is a singer and guitarist. He’s been singing for seven years and playing the guitar for a year. “I’m excited, confident and nervous at the same time,” he said.

The final round of auditions will take place in Johannesburg on March 23. - Sunday Tribune