UKZN Music students excel at Idols SA auditionsGeneral

Idols SA stars (from top left) Ms Amanda Kunene, Ms Nosihe Zulu and Mr Thamsanqa Mathonsi. (From bottom left) Mr Thamsanqa Mathonsi, Ms Amanda Kunene and Ms Nosihe Zulu.Idols SA stars (from top left) Ms Amanda Kunene, Ms Nosihe Zulu and Mr Thamsanqa Mathonsi. (From bottom left) Mr Thamsanqa Mathonsi, Ms Amanda Kunene and Ms Nosihe Zulu.

Three UKZN Music students - Ms Amanda Kunene, Mr Thamsanqa Mathonsi and Ms Nosihe Zulu - won coveted Idols SA golden tickets during auditions in Durban for the TV talent contest.

The three will now compete in the Idols ‘Hell Week’ at Sun City.

‘Receiving a golden ticket was a mind-blowing experience,’ said Kunene. ‘I have been watching the show for ages and always wondered how it would feel to get a Golden ticket. Now I have one and it is a dream come true.’ Kunene performed the song Ndawo Yami by Zama Jobe.

Describing his experience of singing John Legend’s You and I in front of the judges, Mathonsi said: ‘It was nerve-racking and surreal. I felt like I was watching them on TV!’

Mathonsi’s passion for music began at the age of 14. ‘My mentor Ndumiso Njapha made me believe that I could do more than just sing in the school choir,’ he said. Mathonsi later enrolled for a BA degree in Music and Drama Performance at UKZN and is currently enjoying the learning experience.

Zulu sang When we were young by Adele. ‘I just kept singing it again and again,’ she said. ‘My brother and I love the song so we know it back to front. We had so much fun singing it together. But performing in front of the judges was such an adrenaline rush but it was an incredible moment. Having my brother there was the cherry on top - made it feel like I was singing to family.’

Zulu, who comes from a musical family, said: ‘I always wanted the lead role for the family functions. My parents used to sing duos together. I was inspired to love music and the older I’ve got the more I’ve pursued it.’

The students are confident and ready to compete, hoping to do their best in the competition while using the publicity from Idols SA as an opportunity to further their musical careers. They advised other music students to work hard, to never give up and to always keep the passion for music alive.

Melissa Mungroo