Melissa Mpofu, Showbiz Editor
The Old Mutual Amazing Voices singing competition is back for its second season which will be premièring on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) and Zambezi Magic (DStv channel 162) this Sunday at 5PM.
Auditions for the Pan African competition that will feature contenders from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa were conducted virtually from October last year. Over 500 online video entries were received.
In a statement, event organisers, Old Mutual said after an initial screening process, Africa’s top unsigned talent attended closed auditions before celebrity selectors in their home countries. For the local auditions, in-country selectors and assistants were gospel musician Tembalami Tagwirei and media personality MisRed.
“The judges then went through the auditions and whittled the entries. Ten acapella groups (two from each country) from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa were then selected to experience the gruelling judging process where they will display their passion and determination competing for the US$100 000 grand prize,” said Old Mutual.
The top 10 groups who will be unveiled to the public on Sunday will now set out for South Africa for an intense musical, educational, and inspirational boot camp experience at Sun City.
“The competitors’ journey to stardom will be closely monitored by the experienced judging table from each of the countries and supported by the show advisor, Zwai Bala.”
The judges are Zimbabwe’s afro-pop and RnB powerhouse Ammara Brown; Evelle, a previous Nigerian Idols winner, singer and collaborator; Kenya’s Filah Tuju, renowned as a performer, voice coach, writer and producer and founder of a Music Academy; Ghana’s Trigmatic, a multi-award winner rapper, composer, and songwriter and South Africa’s Vusi Nova, the best afro album and best male awards winner.
Lawrence Mawoni, the group communication and brand manager at Old Mutual Zimbabwe said: “We’re enormously impressed by the number of people who auditioned for the competition remotely. Despite the global pandemic, they took time and commitment to rehearse and perform.
“I’m proud to say Zimbabwe is well represented in this year’s edition.”
The singing competition’s first edition debuted on DStv’s Mzansi Magic, Zambezi Magic, and Africa Magic channels last year following a gruelling audition process that kicked off in Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Local judges were Selmor Mtukudzi and Takura with media personality MisRed being the host. The finals that were held on April 5, had 12 competitors who battled it out across three genres — gospel, pop and R&B.
Kenyan RnB group, Wanavokali won the US$100 000 prize. Gospel group, Family Voices from Bulawayo, although they missed out on the top prize, put on a good show making top six.