Singing competition contestants who were favourites – where are they now? #TBT
By Nomali Cele
When Somizi Mhlongo and Unathi Msengana, current judges of the Idols SA singing competition, visited The Best T’in the City, they came with nuggets of their time in singing competitions – Somizi on Shell Road to Fame and Unathi at school. This throwback Thursday, we are looking back at some of past singing competition contestants and where they are today. Read on, you might spot your favourite.
Rebecca Malope’s beginnings…
Let’s start in the late 1980s, Rebecca Malope, then a bubblegum music singer, won the Shell Road to Fame competition. She first entered in 1986 as a part of a band. They didn’t win. In 1987 she went back for a chance at the big time and ended up winning the prize. But her biggest win is that she has sustained a career for nearly three decades. With over 20 albums, she has shaped the sound of South African gospel music.
Where is Khaya Mthethwa now?
Khaya Mthethwas was the first black winner of Idols SA. He took the public vote (with the help of prominent fans such as Sizwe Dhlomo and Minnie Dlamini) by 80% percent at the final. Since then, Mthethwa has released two albums, his debut which was affiliated to the show leaned towards a pop sound. He then returned to his gospel music roots with the 2014 release of The Uprising. Khaya Mthethwa is currently part of a gospel group called Khaya Mthethwa and The Uprising. The new album features gospel artists such as Ntokozo Mbambo and Nqubeko Mbatha.
Where are the members of Coca-Cola Pop Stars group 101?
In 2002, Coca-Cola Pop Stars came onto the entertainment scene with a contemporary mission — audition and group talented, fun, stylish young people together into a supergroup. The individuals chosen didn’t necessarily tick all the boxes for the ‘talented, fun and stylish’ criteria but they each had something going on. The show’s audience was captivated and when the first season ended, group 101 was formed.
Out of that group, made up of Preston Sihlangu, Pam Andrews, Ntumi Mokhasipe, Kurt Herman and Erin Samson, none of them are where we thought they would be as artists today. Of all five members of 101, Pam Andrews has been the most active in the entertainment industry with her television work, acting in shows such as Backstage and Rhythm City. Kurt Herman still works in music as a session musician and background singer and can be seen these days on a popular music competition providing backing vocals.
What happened to Coca-Cola Pop Stars group Adilah?
Adilah, another Coca-Cola Pop Stars group, was recently brought back to public consciousness after one of its members passed away. Formed in 2003, Adilah featured Letang Tlome, Refiloe Motha, Thembisile Ntaka, Itumeleng Kgosana, and Karabo Motlhabi. Refiloe Motha, who you might remember for her signature short, blonde hairstyle, passed away in October this year. The group was most famous for their debut single Ses’Fikile but not much had been heard from them since then. Thembisile Ntaka is the only member of Adilah who continued working in the music industry after their big break in 2003.
Thembisile Ntaka performs live at Kaya House:
Who is the music reality show favourite you have been wondering about over the years?