Khaya is the new Idol
A stunned Khaya Mthethwa clutched his head in disbelief when he was announced as the first black Idols winner last night.
"I just want to thank God and my parents who have flown out here and taken the time to come and support me here every Friday even when they were busy," he exclaimed.
Mthethwa, 25, became Idols South Africa's season 8 winner, ahead of Melissa Alison.
The Durbanite blasted naysayers who had predicted that his prospective win would be to appease disgruntled black viewers.
For the record, for the past seven seasons of the competition, not a single black contestant has scooped the Idols SA title.
Mthethwa, still huffing and puffing from celebrating his win, said it "saddened" him whenever the competition's race issue reared its head.
Though M-Net would not reveal the difference in the number of votes between Mthethwa and Alison, apparently more than 3million votes were cast in the past week.
A member of Joyous Celebration and a staunch Christian, he would not answer questions on the genre of his upcoming debut album.
Universal Music SA boss Lindelani Mkhize would also not entertain questions whether Mthethwa would release a gospel album.
Radio presenter Akhumzi Jezile, Mthethwa's friend, said: "I believed in him from his first audition. When he decided to enter, he came to my mom's house carrying a stack of CDs. The only one I remember was Bruno Mars."
As it so happened, Mthethwa's audition choice was Mars' Just The Way You Are.
"I've never seen so many black people excited about Idols," Jezile said of Mthethwa's first audition.
Mthethwa takes home prizes worth about R1-million. That includes a recording contract with Universal Music SA, R250000 cash and a car, among other prizes.
The finale saw the rest of the top 10 return on stage for a group performance.
Toya DeLazey, Jack Parrow and Freshlyground sang in between.
From the chanting of Khaya's name at the Mosaiek Teatro in Fairland, in between ad breaks, it was, as it admittedly has been since his audition, pointing to a landslide victory for Mthethwa.
Radio personality Lupi Ngcayisa, who spearheaded a 'voterthon' in support of Mthethwa, sang the winner's praises.
"Since inception we've had amazingly gifted black singers, who fell by the wayside, because they didn't enjoy the support of voters," he said.
"With Khaya, blacks stood up, got together, mobilised, and voted."
Alison said she was anxious to get into studio. She added that she was keen to get into acting too, having had some previous stage experience.