There may have been no live audience, no dramatic lighting and no stage to sing on, but this did not deter ten talented agricultural workers from singing their hearts out in the first ever socially-distant Agri’s Got Talent showcase.
All performances were pre-recorded and released last week whereafter voters were given a week to vote for their top contender. Well, the results are in and are set to be announced this Friday at 12:30. Of course, Food For Mzansi will bringing you the news first!
The ten contenders include workers in the citrus, deciduous fruit, wine and table grape industries vying for the coveted Agri’s Got Talent throne. They agree that 2020 will surely be a year they will never forget, and they are ready to hit real-life stages as soon as covid-19 restrictions on movement have been amended.
Wow, what an impressive line-up!
The line-up was impressive to say the least, says judge Melanie Williss. No stranger to the Agri’s Got Talent judging panel, Williss takes the reigns as principal of Stagecoach, an international group of over 600 schools around the world with hers being located in Somerset-West in the Western Cape.
Williss, a seasoned singer and performer herself, reveals that this year “the contenders are very well matched.”
She is equally curious and anticipating the finale announcement. “I am very pleased that the contenders had the courage to be more authentic in their presentations. They were not copying or emulating anybody. They were fully and wholeheartedly themselves.”
Big prizes for the best of the best
Agri’s Got Talent is a social initiative to celebrate the hidden talents of the people who put food on our tables. The title of comes with a cash prize, a paid recording studio session as well as an exclusive training workshop with ProCare on their farm of employment.
Also, the top ten were already given smartphones to document their own journeys through video storytelling which are also available on the Agri’s Got Talent Facebook page.
Tight race, but the bond remains…
The final contenders in this year’s digital showcase say no matter the outcome, they will forever cherish the ironclad bonds they have formed amongst each other.
Sivenathi Ndzakayi (21) from the CRI Citrus Foundation Block in Uitenhage says being a finalist in Agri’s Got Talent is a life-long dream come true.
“I am over the moon because I have never had a platform like this. I am so grateful to Agri’s Got Talent. Thank you for your love and appreciation,” Ndzakayi says.
Representing De Grendal wineries in Cape Town, Jacintha September (40) says in the span of the one-week training she has learned lessons involving music that will carry her throughout her career. “If anything, I have developed a deep appreciation for the art.”
“Agri’s Got Talent is amazing in so many ways. It is not only about the music, but how the team has built us up. They have made me appreciate and understand music more,” September rejoices.
Her sentiments are echoed by Jenny Maarman (34), an early childhood development practitioner at the Diemerskraal farm in Wellington.
Maarman adds that she has fostered life-changing bonds with her fellow contenders that she won’t give up on even after the competition comes to an end.
From stage fright to wow moments!
“What stood out is the way in which Agri’s Got Talent has welcomed us with open arms. They are so loving and made me feel like I belong here. I will always treasure the memories we have made here. We are family even though we haven’t known each other that long,” says Maarman.
Maychen Manuel (28) from Crispy Farming in Ceres says the platform has helped him groom his talents.
“I am finally conquering my stage fright. Not only have we been taught to wow the crowd in real life, but we can also do so in front of the camera. My vocals have been so raw before, but now it’s refined.”
Each finalist has undergone voice training, media training, received a make-over and took part in life skills training sessions. The voting lines are officially closed, but you can still catch up on all the action below.
1. Jenny Maarman (34), Diemerskraal, Wellington
2. Francois Willemse (22), Rietfontein, Koue Bokkeveld
3. Bradwin Jonas (26), Rietfontien, Koue Bokkeveld
4. Sivenathi Ndzakayi (21), CRI Citrus Foundation Block, Uitenhage
5. Eudine van Voigt (25), Van Loveren, Robertson
6. Jacintha September (40), De Grendel, Cape Town
7. Navan Hendricks (22), Elandsrivier Boerdery, Ceres
8. Alicia Flink (29), Haygrove Heaven, Hermanus
9. Roshdene Sampson (22), Sandhoek, Worcester