Melissa Mpofu, Showbiz Editor
Last night marked the end of the road for Bulawayo music group, Effect that was representing the country at the Old Mutual Amazing Voices competition in South Africa.
With their stellar vocals, the group which made top four, put up a fair show at the Pan-African singing competition and like their name suggests, left a mark on the show’s judges and viewers alike.
For their last performance, Effect performed “Move” by Khaya Mthethwa, a song that was selected for them by the show’s advisor, Zwai Bala. Unfortunately, the judges were not “moved” by their performance and the blossoming talent departed from the competition in a shocking upset.
However, all hope is not lost for Zimbabwe as the second country representatives, The Unveiled is still in the running for the US$100 000 prize money. The group from Harare yesterday made top three and is now facing stiff competition from Nigeria’s 121 Selah and South Africa’s Hush.
Despite losing their spot in the Old Mutual Amazing Voices competition, Effect, an all-male group that was labelled by judges as one of the most promising groups, is confident about the future.
As Effect left the centre stage to journey back home, they expressed their delight to have made top four of the major pan-African competition.
Group member, Nkanyiso Gumbo said: “We’re thrilled with our performance and getting this far in the competition. We know we have what it takes to be superstars. Sadly, there can only be one winner and we wish the remaining contestants all the best.
“What’s important is that we’ve been part of a process that has added to our confidence and musical abilities.”
Throughout their stay for the production and boot camp at Sun City, Effect laid foundations for future collaborations with other groups and networks that could help advance their careers beyond Zimbabwe’s borders.
“This experience has taught us about what goes on behind the scenes and we’ve absorbed every bit of information,” said Gumbo.
“When we got together in November last year, just a week before making our audition tape, we were new to performing together as a group.
That has changed. We’re going home to Zimbabwe as a family. We plan to make a lot more music and have already started working with other groups.”
Interestingly, The Unveiled, who have been the underdogs of the competition to date, reached a turning point last night when they swooped in from the bottom spot, securing a Golden Voice accolade when it mattered most.
Despite predictions voiced by judge Filah Tuju that neither of the two Zimbabwean groups would make the cut, The Unveiled rose to the occasion and fought their way into the top three. The competition’s second season for 2020/21 that is nearing its finale has pushed through despite initial fears that the pandemic would stop it.