Home Lifestyle and Leisure #Idols: Runner-up plotting to get his life back on track

#Idols: Runner-up plotting to get his life back on track


It has been just over a month since the finale of the Idols competition and runner up Mthokozisi Ndaba is back home in KwaMashu.

Mthokozisi Ndaba, who was the runner-up on 'Idols' this year, plays one of his songs, Masithandane, on his guitar. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

It has been just over a month since the finale of the Idols competition and runner up Mthokozisi Ndaba is back home in KwaMashu. 

Much like his road to fame, what started out as a sunny, summer day when we leave to visit him, turns dark with gloomy clouds threatening to unleash a downpour as we near his home. 

After becoming a household name and a fan favourite in season 13 of Idols SA, Ndaba’s dramatic fall from grace was quick.

He was labelled a “sore loser” for leaving the stage suddenly when Paxton Fielies was announced as the show’s winner and for not attending the subsequent press conference.

Ndaba, however, says the loss was just too painful for 

“Sometimes when you grow, there is pain. That is what losing Idols was for me. I am a very emotional person, I was scared I was going to cry at the press conference,” he says.

Ndaba, seen here at his home in KwaMashu, is determined to get his music career back on track. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

“It was a competition so I knew anything can happen, but like anyone else, I obviously wanted to win knowing it would lead me to a better future,” said Ndaba. 

But the bad publicity for Ndaba was set to get worse as, shortly after the finale, allegations surfaced on social media that he had assaulted a woman. 

Ndaba was charged with assaulting Neo Tsele, 21, but the charges were withdrawn when he appeared at the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court earlier this month. 

“When the allegation came up I did not speak about it and I will not speak about it. I don’t want to stress myself over something I have no control over.”

While he would not talk about it, it seems everyone else did and Ndaba’s fortunes as a public darling changed overnight. 

Video: Nosipho Mngoma

“As much as there have been people who hate me, there have also been people who support me. I’m overwhelmed by the love they have shown me,” he said.

However, he said two major sponsors disassociated themselves with him and he lost out on gigs. 

“By the grace of God I have had some gigs, mostly thanks to T’zozo and my mentor Zola 7 and I will be performing this December. Although my song Masithandane is not being played on radio after the allegations, people are loving it and downloading it.”

Masithandane is Ndaba’s Idols single and just one of more than 300 songs he has written for himself and other artists. He has recorded 63 songs and the video for the track is one of 28 “professionally shot” music videos he has on YouTube. 

Despite the painful Idols defeat and trouble with the law, Ndaba is determined to get his music career back on track.

“I still have my voice, I still have the fingers I play my instruments with. What took me so far in Idols I still have, so I take the amazing experience on Idols and learn and grow from it.”

As he talks, he glides his fingers over the keyboard at the foot of his bed in his room in an outbuilding behind his childhood home. 

Video: Nosipho Mngoma

When he finds the chords, he plays Masithandane on the keyboard, and guitar. 

These instruments are both new and hold pride of place at the centre of one side of the room between a wardrobe and a microwave on top of a fridge. Against the other wall, is a neatly-made bed and a stage-quality mega speaker, facing the wall to maximise the bass, he says. 

“I still have to bring down (from Johannesburg) my top 10 and runner up prizes. All these instruments are going in my home studio,” he explains between mouthfuls of pap and wors he bought from a vendor at KwaMashu station when a friend came over.

Ndaba is also finishing up writing a book, which is about “the pain of losing so many family members”. 

“My sister and I are the only ones left.”

Ndaba and his sister Londiwe still live in the neighbourhood they grew up in. On the streets, he does not walk far before he is approached. 

Many people recognise him and request the “mandatory” selfie. Others greet him by his “street name” Musa. 

“I want a lot in my life and I’m working towards it, but I’m still me. I take out the rubbish on Mondays. I take cold showers because there is no geysers in our four rooms (four-roomed houses). I sweep my room and make my bed. I take taxis and eat mealies, which surprises people because they have seen me on television.”

“I am just me, I make mistakes, I am not a saint, I am a human being like everyone else.”

The Mercury