They used to call me the man with the golden voice during my radio days. Who should doubt those old white ladies who used to tune in to Radio One during those hey days? I don’t care what everyone else thought but I had my captive admirers who used to phone in swooning from their Old People’s Homes.
Yet there is one thing that I admit I am not capable of and that is singing. Golden voice I have but when it comes to putting a bit of harmony in it, my brain disengages. I forget the words and my attempts at stardom go south.
But there is hope still for some of us shower vocalists and beerhall rabble rousers and genuinely talented singers. Old Mutual in conjunction with DSTV are supporting a singing talent search competition where the winners will walk out richer.
Since I am a total failure in this department, I can safely say our sons Bongani and Anele stand a chance of bringing the prize money ngekhaya. They can sing and very well too! No point to ask me whose singing genes they have.
We were witness this week when the Old Mutual Amazing Voices Talent Search competition was unveiled to staff in Harare. This was as part of an internal launch campaign, something I found to be rare.
Companies tend to forget that the most important people are their employees. These are your internal ambassadors for what you do. They rush to launch products and services to the markets because the assumption is, they already know. That is folly.
The continental talent search will involve singing groups from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa who will be vying for the grand prize of US$100 000 in the finale.
A celebrity panel of selectors in each of the four participating countries will adjudicate the Amazing Voices contestants at auditions. The competition is open to singing groups made up of four to eight members in the Afro-pop, R&B and Gospel categories.
Each of the participating countries will produce one team that will advance to the finals scheduled to take place in South Africa in January next year. Zimbabwe will have its auditions at Bulawayo’s Large City Hall and Monomotapa Hotel in Harare on 15 and 18 October respectively.
Some members of the celebrity panel for the Zimbabwe leg of the competition, Selmor Mtukudzi and gospel singer Tembalami as well as publicist and radio personality, MisRed, were taken around Old Mutual offices in the capital city to meet workers. Takura, singer-songwriter makes up the team of three selectors.
Mr Isaiah Mashinya, Group Chief Operations Officer welcomed the team to Old Mutual headquarters by showing his appreciation for the gesture.
“As Old Mutual, we are honoured to support the African Amazing Voices Talent Search competition. We are committed to delivering the value that answers to the needs of the communities that we operate in, music is one such activity,” he said.
There were enthusiastic scenes at all the offices the group visited as staffers took turns to show off their singing skills. The tour ended at the financial services giant’s Emerald Hill headquarters where top executives and staffers were taken through the rules of the competition. We were witness to some “dope” freestyling by some staff members lending credence to the tag: If you know, you know!
Speaking to the group, Mr Takura Mudekunye, Group Financial Director, a self-confessed fan of the late Oliver Mtukudzi, expressed his appreciation to the team for visiting the offices.
“This is a welcome gesture by the team of selectors, we will be supporting the competition and follow it very closely. We are aware of what you have been doing and will certainly support the endeavour,” he said.
According to Lawrence Mawoni, Group Marketing Communications and Branding Manager, the internal launch presented an opportunity to introduce the Pan-African competition to Old Mutual Zimbabwe executives and staff who he said were their “ambassadors”.
“We wanted to ensure that there was buy-in from them before we roll out for competition’s auditions pencilled for Harare and Bulawayo,” Mawoni said.
Amazing Voices will be broadcast on DSTV’s Zambezi Magic, Africa Magic, Mzansi Magic and other channels and the premier will be on 12 January 2020.
So there you are, sharpen those voices, swallow that wire and get ready to compete for a cool amount that could change your life!