By Zandile Ndlovu
The Voice UK runner-up Donel Mangena, who is on tour with British television channel ITV promoting The Voice UK 2019, is driven by the motto “work hard, pray hard and dream big”.
In what would best be described as the opportunity of a lifetime, Donel has accomplished in a short space of time what most seasoned artistes take a lifetime to achieve.
Joining The Voice UK 2018 as the youngest contestant and becoming the runner up in the talent show was the first step in his dream to become a recording artiste.
Having put his musical dreams on hold to concentrate on school, it took Donel a few years before the opportunity to audition for The Voice UK presented itself.
“The Voice UK opened my eyes to how the music industry operates. We had long days and short nights. Always in rehearsal. It toughened me,” revealed Donel in an interview with The Sunday Mail Society.
At just 16, with his charisma, smile and dance moves, Donel captured millions of audiences worldwide. In all of this, the best was yet to come.
“Being spotted by Prince Harry and being asked by him to perform for Queen Elizabeth at her 92nd birthday, changed my life. It has opened up so many doors for me,” he said.
He has achieved his goal of being a recording artiste under the watchful eye of mentor Will.I.Am, releasing his debut single “Bang Like A Drum”, which features Rapper SwarmZ. The song is doing well on chart shows.
Though born in Manchester, UK, Donel strongly identifies with his Zimbabwean roots. His relationship with his grandmother from Bulawayo, who stole the hearts of viewers, his father and wider family, has grown even closer with fame.
“When I write or perform songs, it feels natural to include isiNdebele in my lyrics. It gives me that unique edge. And it allows me to be very playful with my creativity.”
Besides music, Donel enjoys a good game of football and one day hopes to star in a movie as an actor. Sunday Mail
Zandile Zaza Ndlovu is a lifestyle and arts journalist as well as a Media and PR Strategist for BrandZa Communications. Feedback: [email protected] and Twitter/Instagram @zazaliciousone