'I was not fine' — Behind the scenes on Musa Motha's big 'Britain's Got Talent' finale performance
He was moments away from arguably the biggest performance of his life, and Musa Motha was not OK. He told himself all he needed was a moment of courage and, like he had done so many times before, step into the unknown.
The South African amputee, who lost his leg after being diagnosed with cancer, has inspired many with his performances on the popular Britain's Got Talent.
A whirlwind week saw the 27-year-old make history when he achieved the show’s first-ever group golden buzzer, win his semifinal and then compete against some of the best talent in Britain.
He was reportedly the bookies' favourite to win this season's competition, but as he prepared for his final performance the weight of expectation weighed heavily on him.
“It was a lot. I was not fine on the day, to be honest. I was not nervous, I was not scared, but I was going through my mind 'why am I doing this?' I want to win this, and win it for the people, but if I don't win what will that mean?” he told Metro FM's Tbo Touch.
He said he only had one day to rehearse the performance before stepping on to the stage in front of a packed studio audience and millions watching at home around the world.
“When I was standing on stage waiting for the music to start, I was like: 'there is no turning back.'”
He gave it his all in an emotional and breathtaking performance that drew on themes of struggles, support and victory.
Sparks of gold and light filled the stage, illuminating the star that danced before it.
It all culminated in a dramatic moment with Motha walking towards a light and looking back to a thunderous standing ovation from the audience and judges.
It had left many in tears and hoarse from shouting their support.
Surprisingly he did not make the top three of the final, voted for by fans. The “snub” left many angry and calling for a revision of the show's rules.
Musa said he had given his all and was not sad at the result.
“Everyone had a very strong talent, that was why we were all in the final. It was disturbing to me to hear people cursing outside and angrily demanding I should have won, because everything happens for a reason. That was not for me, it was for him [winner Viggo Venn]. He can have it. Overall, I am just proud of myself for showing the impossible is possible and I'm possible.”
Motha has been beating the odds since his amputation. A keen football player before his amputation, he fell in love with music and dance.
“My friends were dancing at the time and I asked them to teach me how to dance,” he told the show's judges, adding his friends taught him to use his crutches as “legs”.
Motha's mother, Ntokozo Matale, told TimesLIVE, her son was an inspiration to all who met him.
“When Musa was sick, I was devastated. God has so many ways of showing his love to us. Musa was a strong boy through his illness and losing his leg. He has managed to get to where he is right now because of his belief. He is brave, confident and loves people.
“For as long as I know my son, he always gets what he wants. He is a go-getter and I am so proud of him.”
Motha's mentor, Gregory Maqoma, told Sowetan he was proud of the dancer's journey so far.
“There is no stage bigger than Britain’s Got Talent. As his mentor, I’ve always worked towards making sure he achieved his goals. It was critical for me in our planning to make sure it happens as we moved forward.
“Seeing him on that stage means a lot to me and I know it is his time to shine,” said Maqoma.
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