Stuku hosted its first annual Idols competition in the Aula last Tuesday. Kenneth Mabela, a fourth-year BMus student, won the competition while Kirsten Dey was placed second and Zipho Tshapela came third.

All ten finalists teamed up at the beginning of the evening to sing Black Eyed Peas’s “I Gotta Feeling” followed by Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls”. Colour Blind Politicians, a local band from the university, impressed the crowd.

Tuks Idols was the first Stuku event in a series of five which they collectively named UP Arts. According to Stuku’s EC of Arts and Discipline Nthabiseng Nooe, Stuku started UP Arts to promote the involvement of all students in culture at the university. All students were allowed to enter the competition and auditions were free.

The evening consisted of a variety of music genres including pop, soul, blues and rock. Mabela took home a R3 000 prize for his rendition of songs from John Legend, Chris Brown and Zahara, during which he played the piano. Before singing, he said, “Music is my life. There is no place I’d rather be than on stage.” Mabela is a part of the acapella group Blind Ensemble, which is made up of four blind students.

Dey, a second-year BA own choice student, captivated the crowd with her rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman”. She received R2 000 in prize money and Tshapela received R1 000.

Neo Motaung, a second-year drama student, performed a mix of John Legend’s “So High” and Beyoncé’s “Halo”. Although she did not come in the top three, she received a standing ovation from the crowd.

“At first I wanted to compete, but there is so much talent here so I am here to have fun and enjoy the given opportunity,” Patrick Manyathi, a finalist in the competition, said about his performance.

The judges of the evening included Neo Mahlangu, a Blackberry Ambassador for Tuks; Shaney Saunders, Madelief’s Serenade HK; and former Stuku chairperson, Rudi Beste. The judges said that they were looking for confidence, energy and personality. Contestants were each given a score out of 100 based on the clarity of the lyrics, tempo and pitch. The winner, Mabela, won with 91.3%.

The ten finalists will participate in a campus tour where they will stand a chance to win a mentorship and record a single with the Motswako rapper, Khuli Chana.

Photos: Kobus Barnard

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