Ushering in Mzanzi's talent
SIX young South Africans will make history when they expose their untapped talents while performing as the opening acts for acclaimed US R&B star Usher.
Usher Raymond will grace the stage at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday with the six youngsters who impressed the judges during the Hansa Pilsner Talent Search journey.
This is the first time in the history of South African music that amateurs have been given a platform to share the stage with international stars.
The six finalists were introduced to the media and performed their acts at the Native Rhythms Lounge in Rosebank on Wednesday.
From the electro sounds of local rock to the soothing beats of locally brewed R&B, the aspiring artists were on top of their game.
One of the upcoming musicians, Busi M from Langa, who is in her final year studying women and gender studies at the University of the Western Cape, has immense stage appeal.
Speaking to Sunday World, Busi, who has worked with Simphiwe Dana as a backing artist, says: "I am so excited to be one of the acts to be sharing the stage with Usher.
"This shows how young talent in the country is being recognised, and it's a fulfilling and inspirational moment for me," says the house music vocalist.
Another talented youngster to be given a chance to showcase his craft is Mo Klassik from Mahikeng.
The electrifying music of this 28-year-old budding singer and songwriter is a fusion of hip-hop and Afro pop, with an R&B influence.
He says his journey started in 2004 when he was working with a group called 2.4 Joy.
"I'm one step closer to turning my dreams into reality. I'm thankful for the opportunity to share the stage with Usher.
"I'll definitely turn tables around with my music when I perform for the massive audience," he says.
Soweto 10-man band Mo & The Dark Knights are also looking forward to showcasing their talent.
The group was formed in 2008 when youngsters from various churches come together to hit the high notes by fusing funk, kwaito, hip-hop, rock and soul.
The band's front man Thokozani Ngubeni says about their new found fame: "We feel we were born to enlighten, inspire, rejuvenate and entertain Mzansi people with our sound."
One of the band members is popular TV star Motlatsi Mafatshe, who plays Sechaba in the SABC3 soapie Isidingo.
Recognising the importance of media exposure for aspiring artists, Hansa Pilsener GM Mosidi Seretlo says: "Media plays an important role in growing artists' careers.
"Therefore we saw it fit to schedule a workshop that will not only equip them with media skills but also assist them in finding their brand image and understand the importance of communication and the business of the industry.
"The quality of South Africa's untapped talent is incredible and we are proud to have created this unforgettable journey."
The search is endorsed by Teargas, Zakes Bantwini and Thabiso Khathi, who manages hip-hop group Deep Level.