The annual My African Dream talent search drew to a close at GICC last Friday night.
The MAD talent search started 13 years ago with 40 entries of primary school children but this year boasted 5000 entrants countrywide who auditioned for the junior, teen and senior categories of the talent show whose grand finale gala dinner event was graced by the previous president of Botswana, Festus Mogae and his wife Barbara.
Rosalyn Beukes, Maitisong’s Director and event coordinator, says the contestants where encouraged to come up with something new for the finale, presenting a new showcase for the audience who may have seen them perform before.
Stemrico, a kwaito dancing duo who were junior MAD winners in 2005, performed a piece and again choreographed and performed alongside this year’s kwaito dancing finalists.
Another contestant, Daniel, performed Malaika’s popular Afro pop song Mhla’uphel’amandla.
Daniel, a contestant from a past MAD talent search where he performed the same song, sang the Zulu lyrics, after shuffling into a basic wedding step, to the astonishment of the audience, due to he fact that he is white.
Another highlight was Desmond and Rocky duet of You Lift Me Up, which the young boys amazingly sang in the same key, in husky low altos.
While the finalists’ performances were fairly entertaining, they did give an impression of being not well rehearsed, compared to their former performances at the semi finals.
NKD, a new pop sensation from South Africa, were guest performers. The trio sang a combination of their own songs and cover songs from Michael Jackson, Shania Twain and Rihanna. While their set was lengthy covering over 8 songs, the audience was none the less appreciative.
A low note had to be the fact that there were no less than four MCs. The presence of Joe Matome, Pauline, Prince and Kago appeared to be overstated, as there were four instances where mcing was unnecessary.
At the end of the night, the People’s Choice awards that came through sms votes went to Towela Gabasiane who won the senior category followed by Boom Doom Era, while Bonandosita won the teen category and Candy nabbed runner up. Kwaito groups also dominated the junior section with another girl group, Torrostina, followed by the Untouchables won the junior category.
The Judges Choice Awards went to Tru Da Esvare and Rosemarie Hamouir.