A general agricultural worker from Diemersfontein Wine Estate outside Wellington became the fourth winner of Agri’s got Talent competition, when he bowled judges over and won fans’ hearts in Paarl on Friday night.
Mbulelo Sikade, who earlier could not believe he had made the top 10, said he felt amazing. “I was almost crying when I heard I was in the top 10,” he declared. “It was straight from God.”
He faced stiff competition from the 10 other finalists in agriculture’s Idols. Talented Afri-rapper of Panorama Farms in Tulbagh Jason Baartman was second, and Jason Tiras, also of Diemersfontein Estate, third.
VinPro Foundation CEO Unathi Mantshongo spoke of the many talents to be found in the sector.
“Agri’s got Talent is a platform that celebrates these talents but more importantly for us this project brings people together from all walks of life in support of each other,” he said. “This theme resonates with what the VinPro Foundation stands for, as we are continuously investing in an inclusive industry built on the capabilities of talented people.”
HORTGRO executive director Anton Rabe is always at a loss for words when he sees the talent of the agricultural sector. “They get up on stage and sing with confidence as if they have been doing it for years,” he said. “It is through such events that we wish to illustrate the multi-dimensional facets and diversity of agriculture.”
The 2005 South African Idols winner, and guest performer, Karin Kortje, also one of the judges, said to finalists that if music is in their hearts they must never give it up. “An apple packer from Grabouw, I believed music was my calling,” she said. “Never give up on your dreams.”
The top 10 underwent a week’s intensive singing and stage training, led by local artists Frieda van den Heever and Hein Poole. Petra Nel of PROCARE was life skills facilitator.
Agri’s got Talent is a joint project between HORTGRO, the VinPro Foundation and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.
Its aim is to give talented farm, pack shed and cellar workers in the fruit and wine industries the opportunity to develop their singing talents. The winner receives a cash prize, clothes and will, in future, perform at agricultural events.