‘The Voice UK’ . . . Zimbabwe’s Donel Mangena shines

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Sharon Kavhu

At 16, Donel Mangena’s unique singing and dancing on stage endeared him to ‘The Voice uk’ live and online audiences across the world.   

Although he came second, the Zimbabwean-born British musician Mangena had several standing ovations from the judges when he performed during the recently ended 2018 ‘The Voice UK’.

The boy made Zimbabwe and other southern African countries proud when he performed live ‘O.M.G’ with American star Will.i.am at the finals. The video reached 300,000 views on YouTube.

During his recorded rehearsal on YouTube, American rapper Jaime Luis Gomez ‘Taboo’ from the hip-hop group, The Black Eyed Peas, described him as a “full package” in the music industry.

“I can see something in him that is very special, something that says ‘his future is greater in the music industry’, he has a full package and I tell you he his dangerous,” said Taboo.

In an interview during the Lorraine Show, an early weekday morning, lifestyle and entertainment show for ITV, before the finals, Will.i.am said for the seven seasons of ‘The Voice UK’ within six years he has never seen a talent like Mangena’s and that if he wins he would put him in studio right away.

“It works best to have a performer and singer all in one. We have never had this type of dynamic singing performer artist like Donel in all our seven seasons.  Most people sing good mixing with other people’s music, but, they don’t really give it up to 100 percent to the performance. Donel has a special talent,” said Will.i.am.

During the same interview, Mangena acknowledged the support that he gets from his family.

“My family is great, they are very supportive and as much as I love music, I am also doing this for them,” said Mangena.

While he was performing in the finals, his grandmother joined him on stage to show her dance moves which left the audience mesmerised.

Mangena said his grandmother is the most amazing person he knows and that he loves her.

He was also quoted by The Voice Producers (US) saying that his father is his inspiration and that the father-and-son duo has a studio at their house.

The 16-year-old talented young Zimbabwean, who lives in Southampton, performed at the blind auditions in January this year.  He came second in the finals with 18-year-old Ruti Olajugbagbe scooping the first price.

He fascinated the judges with a jaw-dropping performance when he performed Major Lazer’s ‘Cold Water’ in the blind audition round.

The act saw all four judges giving him a standing ovation.

He also performed Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’, which sealed his spot in the final.

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