By Andile Tshuma
A 16-year-old Zimbabwean boy based in the United Kingdom has struck gold after popular artiste Will.I.Am from the group Black Eyed Peas offered him a recording contract.
The offer to Donel Mangena was made live on television following a performance that got a standing ovation on the British talent show series The Voice UK.And as a cherry on the top his grandmother, identified as Ms Nita, who raised him in Bulawayo earlier on in his life stole the show with her dance moves celebrating her grandson’s triumph.
This was after a bidding war had erupted between a panel of judges who included Will.I.Am, R&B singer Jennifer Hudson, English singer Olly Murs and Grammy Award winning artiste Sir Tom Jones.
Will.I.Am said he was calling the record company as soon as Donel chooses his team.
“You’ve got me for however long you want me in your life, forget this show. I’m calling the record company and if you are in, we are on,” said Will.I.Am much to the boy’s and his family’s amusement.
After the overtures Mangena decided to join Will.I.Am’s camp after being offered to tour the world with his crew.
“I want to tour the world, that’s my dream for now, I want to travel,” said Mangena to the team of judges after one of them asked about his wishes.Mangena gave credit to his family, particularly his father, whom he described as very supportive of his dream.
“My dad is supportive of my dream and always tells me that I can be what I want to be if I believe in myself.
He even built a studio next to his workshop at our backyard. I will always be grateful also to my grandmother who believes in me.
I had a great childhood staying with her back in Zimbabwe and she was always there for me, I have a huge, gigantic soft spot for my grand mum,” he said.
After busting some moves, Ms Nita said she was overjoyed that her grandson had succeeded at the auditions and could not hold herself.
“I’m just happy with my grandson, he is well behaved and he does so well at school despite his music passion. He balances it very well and I’m just a proud granny,” she said. The Chronicle