Zama Khumalo’s gap year after matric last year has helped her win this year’s Idols SA.
The 19-year-old Emalahleni-born singer snatched the crown from crooner Lungisani “Mr Music” Mthethwa from Richards Bay on Sunday night.
Over 29 million South Africans voted in the finale.
“I’m really blessed, thank you very much, South Africa,” said a teary-eyed Zama before performing her new single Ndizobizwa to close season 16 of the reality music show.
“[My] single speaks about how all my peers have been called and I’m the only one left behind – but God’s timing is the right time. It’s relevant in my life because this year with Idols, I got my calling,” Zama told Sowetan two weeks ago.
The top 10 contestants ZanoThando, Succedor, Mr Music, Zama, Ntokozo, Bongi, Jooma and Ndoni reunited on stage during the grand finale for a spectacular rendition of Paloma Faith’s Warrior.
DJ Zinhle, Busiswa, Cassper Nyovest, Vusi Nova, Kamo Mphela, Jazzidisciples, The Mzansi Gay Choir, Master KG, Ami Faku and Nomcebo Zikode also delivered performances during the live broadcast at State Theatre in the Pretoria CBD.
Zama joins past Idols winners including Luyolo Yiba, Yanga Sobetwa, Karabo Mogane, Paxton Fielies, Noma Khumalo, Musa Sukwene and Khaya Mthethwa.
In being crowned Idols SA’s season 16 winner, Zama not only became an instant millionaire but has also won Samsung products valued at R150,000 as well as the new Toyota Starlet 1.4. XR Manual.
This year also marks the first time an Idols winner has inked a recording deal with Oskido’s independent stable KalawaKalawa Jazmee ending their three-year partnership with Gallo Record Company.
Kalawa will be in charge of artists and repertoire, artist management and marketing.