By Bongani Ndlovu
The stars seem to be lining up for Zimbabwe’s Donel Mangena at the Voice UK ahead of the finals tonight as he is the odds-on favourite to land the top prize of a recording contract.
The 16-year-old artiste who was raised in Old Luveve by his grandmother, Nita Mangena, before leaving for the UK to be with his parents, during an interview on iTv on Wednesday, said the competition was a rollercoaster ride that he thoroughly enjoyed.
One of the fortunes that befell the singer during his stint on the show is that he has been requested to perform for Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday on April 21.
Also, fans of the show will be glad to know that his grandmother who wowed many after dancing on stage during Donel’s blind audition, will be part of the crowd to cheer him on tonight. Local viewers can watch the final tomorrow on iTV Choice, DStv channel 123 at 6PM.
Donel has been blazing the stage and lighting people’s hearts during the show that started airing in January with his epic dance moves and presence on stage.
In the blind auditions, he caught the eye of judges Will I Am, Jennifer Hudson, Sir Tom Jones and Olly Murs who jostled for him to be on their respective teams.
Donel settled for Black Eyed Peas member Will I Am.
Donel said this weekend, there would be surprises from himself and in the competition.
“This weekend will be fun, something the people won’t be expecting. I’m bringing out a different side of me that people aren’t expecting and I hope that people like as well. It’s going to be really cool and I’m excited to share it with everyone else,” said Donel.
His mentor Will I Am, while heaping praises on him, said Donel stood a big chance to win the contract as there has never been a performer like him in the competition.
“We’ve been blessed to have a performer and artiste like Donel this season. I’ve been doing this for six or seven seasons and we never had this type of dynamic singing performer, dancer artiste like Donel. Most people sing well and sing other people’s songs good, but they don’t give it 100 percent when it comes to the performance,” said Will I Am.
He said his vision for Donel was to make him a global star and when he wins the competition, he would release new music from him.
“We were in the studio late last night with Donel. We made new music. Not singing someone else’s stuff, we made Donel original stuff. This has been my gripe that for six seasons, if someone wins the competition, we don’t hear new music right away.
“So this year, I want to change it so that when Donel wins, music will be released right away. There’ll be no waiting, new music when he is crowned,” said Will I Am. The Chronicle