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Hundreds welcome home their NC idol

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Screaming and chanting fans did not miss out on the opportunity to take a picture with Makape at the airport yesterday

A STAR: Yesterday crowds gathered at the Kimberley Airport to see their idol, Thato Makape, who was the runner-up in the Idols 2018 competition. Welcoming him home was Northern Cape MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba. Picture: Danie van der Lith

HUNDREDS of Northern Cape Idols fans streamed to the Kimberley Airport yesterday to bid a warm welcome to Thato Makape, whom they called “our winner”.

Although Makape, who hails from Postmasburg, was the runner-up in Idols, many supporters branded him as their overall winner in the singing competition.

Screaming and chanting fans did not miss out on the opportunity to take a picture with Makape at the airport yesterday.

He indicated that he was deeply touched by the support that residents had shown him.

“This is very overwhelming. I appreciate the love and support I am receiving. I did not win Idols, but I feel like I did win,” he said with a big grin.

Makape, who already has a single, Blow By Blow, out, assured his followers that he will not sit back now that he has returned home.

“People can expect a full album, but not now. I am still going to do tours around the country. I would love to collaborate with Shekinah, but that is still in the pipeline. It might happen in future we will have to wait and see. People will definitely see more of me these coming months,” he said.

Makape urged the youth to always reach for their dreams and aspirations.

“We mostly focus on things but give up on the more challenging aspirations. We cannot focus on how hard it is to achieve something but have to keep on going to reach our dream and our destiny.”

He said it took him years to prepare for this moment.

“I never went for Idols in the past but did attend the shows to see how other artists prepare and what they lacked. I used to do that since 2012. I realised that the people needed some entertainment. This year I felt my preparation paid off and I was ready to take to the stage.”

Makape said that he never set his eyes on being the ultimate winner of Idols.

“I am grateful for making it that far. I just wanted exposure and for someone to see and recognise my talent. I saw the competition as a step ladder to achieving what I wanted.”

Makape’s mother, Mathilda, was smiling from ear to ear as she watched her son being bombarded by fans.

She said she was happy for her only child’s success but was also a bit nervous about his instant fame.

“I am so happy for him I cannot explain in words how proud I am of him. He said at the time of the auditions that he only wanted to make it to the top 10. We never imagined he would make it to the top two. This is very overwhelming and I am getting nervous because he is my only child and I want him by my side. I told my family that if he should move, I will also move. Thato told me when he entered that he only wanted exposure. I did not think that he would make it that far.”

She added that she always knew her son had a talent for singing.

“At the age of three, I realised that Thato could actually sing. He always used to sing a song they taught him at Sunday School. I could hear from his voice and the notes that he was not just merely singing and he got that singing voice from me,” she laughed.

She said she was touched by the support from Northern Cape residents.

“The Northern Cape loves my son. They voted for him during the shows. They are even supporting him now and that is very touching.”

The Northern Cape MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, said yesterday that the Province and local government will continue to support Makape.

“This is a very big win for the entire Province. Thato comes from a small town but has shown that one does not have to be defined by your background. The Northern Cape competed with bigger provinces and we came out on top because of Thato. We have made a commitment as government to support him on this journey. We will discuss in what avenues we will assist him in achieving his dream,” said Mbinqo-Gigaba.