New blood on talent show
KWAITO star Kabelo "Bouga Luv" Mabalane and budding comedian Mthawelanga "Tats" Nkonzo are the new faces on South Africa's Got Talent.
Mabalane joins the judging panel, replacing the sharp-tongued Randall Abrahams.
Abrahams, who also has a regular stint on the judging panel of another reality show, courted controversy when he helmed the recent SA Music Awards, the format of which he rejigged much to the chagrin of certain music people.
Nkonzo, whose claim to fame in entertainment came after he was booted out of emerging comics talent search show So You Think You Are Funny, stands out as a guitarist-cum-singer who uses satire and irony to lampoon and slay any imaginable sacred cow.
He is in such high demand that he has opened comedy shows that have been headlined by top funny men such as Loyiso Gola and Nick Rabinowitz - and has a prime slot in Gola's e-tv programme, Late Night News with Loyiso Gola.
In true funny man style, Nkonzo does not sound as if he is going to emulate any of the previous SA's Got Talent presenters. He said: "I have been given Britain's Got Talent and other DVDs but that did not help a bit.
"I think I will just be myself and do what I know. I have a good director who guides me, so it should be a manageable job."
Nkonzo is taking over from former 5FM star DJ Anele Mdoda, who presented the show while it was still flighted on SABC2.
The strumming comic credited his having studied advertising for the way his career panned out.
Admittedly, Mabalane is not new to the fame game. The artist has had quite a troubled and colourful past. The TKZee member and one-time music wild child had a well-documented drug addiction, that he subsequently defeated.
Since his recovery Mabalane has embarked on a Christian path and embraced a healthy and clean way of life. He has subjected his body to the rigours of marathon running by turning out for South Africa's premier ultramarathon, the Comrades, since 2005. In 2008, he was selected to be an ambassador for the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.
About his new assignment, Mabalane said he would not be "trying to change the wheel," or become another Abrahams.
"I have been in the industry for 17 years and I can tell you that entertainment is not a game, it is manual labour," Mabalane said.
"To achieve your best you must work hard. That is what life, and this show, is all about."
Mabalane also expressed his respect for co-judges Nomshado Twala and Ian von Memerty.