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Zim teen steals singing contest limelight

For an industry that feeds on youthful exuberance, good looks and the adulation of millions of screaming teenage girls, the organisers of a United Kingdom singing contest, The Voice, must be feeling pleased with themselves as the latest edition of the singing competition kicked off.

By Admire Kudita

The reason is not because the cometition itself is any more special than the other reality television contests formats such as X Factor, You Think You Got Talent and Idols.

The reason for the particular current buzz in the UK competition, which has been captured by tabloids such as The Sun is one young master, Donel Mangena — a 16-year-old singer of Zimbabwean parentage based in Southampton.

The performance of the young man on the competition’s stage was clearly lapped up by an enthusiastic crowd that included his feisty grandmother Mrs Nita.

Apparently, at the close of his well-received performance, the grandmother jumped onto the stage and danced along with the young man in celebration.

The judges’ panel included United States pop musicians Will.I.am and gifted vocalist Jennifer Hudson. The former was the first to press his button and offer the young man a place on his mentoring team.

Each judge must mentor artistes who will battle it out week after week, buoyed by public support through a stipulated voting system.
The teen will have to compete to win a recording contract, among other deals. He has passed the first stage. More stages remain. Will.I.am pretended to make a phone call to a record company as the judges were schmoozing the young man to join their teams. What sets Mangena apart for now is what the bookmakers such as Coral are saying. They are saying Donel “stole” the show and “attracted a flurry of bets”. He is a 9-2 odds on favourite to win the competition. But it is still early days yet.

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