By Ntombi Mhlongo
The first auditions of the Swazi Praise Volume 2 were nothing short of a perfect platform to unearth the immense talent that aspiring local musicians have.
The auditions, which are a build-up to the Mother of All Gospel Shows, have been sponsored by fast-growing mobile money agent, Instacash kicked off on a high note at the Buhleni Resource Centre as throngs of aspiring gospel artists showed up to get an opportunity to showcase their talent and make it to the next stage.
The big turnout proved that aspiring artists have been eagerly awaiting such an opportunity. It is a fact that while the music industry is big in the Kingdom of Eswatini, few competitions allow for talent to be unearthed.
This is even though previous competitions have been a success and the eventual winners went on to become shining stars not only in the country but in neighbouring South Africa where they collaborated with seasoned artists and music groups.
Not only is there an opportunity for two aspiring gospel artists under the mother of all Gospel Shows but 16 more artists will have an opportunity to join Swazi Praise Volume 2. This is the third edition of the Mother of All Gospel Shows which started in 2014.
At the Buhleni auditions, the excitement was written all over the aspiring gospel singers who gave the judges a bit of a tough time deciding who qualified. Making the competition live up to the standards was a judging panel made of seasoned local artists who included Cleopatra Methula, Pamela Zwane, Gcebile Mvubu, France Dlamini, and Ndumiso Dlamini.
Dlamini expressed excitement at not only the high number of aspiring musicians who came to try their luck but the talent that they showcased on the microphone. Describing his excitement, he mentioned that it was a tough moment for him as he had to dig deep down to make sure that he made the correct selections.
Also commenting was Mother of All Gospel Show’s Nduduzo Matse. The award-winning artist said, “It is inspiring and humbling at the same time to see such talent, and we can’t wait to see more numbers and see God’s gift as we continue auditions. This is really beyond our expectations, and we are happy with the numbers”.
The auditions were structured in such a way that the participants were each given one song and this lasted almost the whole day as the judges encountered different aspiring young people. The auditions will allow 20 aspiring young people to be recorded as gospel artists. Two will be sent to Mother of All Gospel Shows under Matse and 18 will be added to the Swazi Praise Volume 2 and will also be recorded under Swazi Praise Volume 2.
“This is such a beautiful opportunity for anyone who is aspiring to be a gospel artist and being a professional at it is the biggest aspect. More than just being a gospel artist, there is an opportunity to make money via Instacash. This is a rare opportunity,” Instacash Branding and Communications Team Leader, Cleopatra Methula said.
The auditions will be twofold.
The contestants will be judged according to their singing ability. In addition, they will be trained on how to recruit Instacash customers to qualify for the Swazi Praise Volume 2 recording. The recruitment of Instacash customers will replace the usual voting process and cut down on contestants pleading for votes which are usually costly.
The competition continues this coming Saturday as it goes to Mbabane, where auditions would be held at the Eswatini Theatre Club starting at 8 am.