Concern as 'Idols' loser goes to ground
After failing to win Idols SA on Sunday night, Mthokozisi Ndaba has gone to ground.
Sowetan learnt that Ndaba was still in the Idols Randburg house and being observed by a medical doctor to ensure his physical well-being, as well as being counselled by a psychologist who was helping him go through the heavy emotions.
The 25-year-old from KwaMashu in Durban was beaten by Paxton Fielies from Bishop Lavis in Cape Town, after a tight contest for the prize package worth over R1.5-million that included cash, a car and a recording deal with Gallo Records.
The epic duel was staged at the Big Top Arena at Carnival City in Brakpan on the East Rand.
So upset was Ndaba on Sunday night that he missed the mandatory press conference that follows the announcement of the results.
Instead, a short video of him congratulating Fielies and sending his good wishes was played at the VIP after party held in the Mardi Gras room of the casino.
Ndaba raised eyebrows when he didn't stay on the stage with the other top 10 finalists to celebrate with Fielies after she dealt a heavy blow to his dreams.
A dejected-looking Ndaba was seen leaving the stage as Fielies was mobbed by the well-wishers.
His mood had not improved by yesterday afternoon as planned media interviews with him were canned.
Speaking for Mzansi Magic - who broadcasts Idols - Nondumiso Mabece, head of publicity for M-Net local entertainment channels, asked for privacy.
Ndaba's inspiring story of beating the odds saw him cheat death a few times and also lose about 11 family members and relatives in 10 years.
He survived a gun attack a few days after auditioning for Idols and winning the golden ticket. By the time he attended Theatre Week he was nursing wounds and was assisted to walk.
This season saw new records made with over 98 million votes cast, an 18% jump from last season and 30 million votes counted in the week leading to the finale alone.
Ndaba's upset result follows recent surprise wins such as last year when Thami Shobede lost out to Noma Khumalo, even though he had a number one hit single on iTunes.
Mmatema Moremi got the rug pulled from under her feet by Karabo Mogane and Musa Sukwene beat teenage heartthrob Brenden Ledwaba.
Meanwhile, Fielies hit the streets as early as 5am yesterday doing media interviews and appearances.
She said she was sympathetic to Ndaba. "I have not heard from him or seen him today. I know it's draining emotionally and there is a lot to take in.
"For someone who has come a long way in the competition and focused on winning and doesn't, it breaks you.
"But I know that he puts God first and my advice to him would be to pray.
"I know I will hear from him soon because he will make great music."
Shobede said he understood the strain Ndaba was experiencing.
"You feel betrayed. After the winner's announcement everybody moves on with their lives and you have to go back to reality.
"What happens now that you're not the one? I went through what he's going through, it's just that we express our emotions differently."
He said Ndaba probably felt betrayed that his fans shouted his name in the auditorium and asked himself why they didn't pull through for him.
"He most likely feels like everyone disappointed him. But when he finally comes out of it, he will be ready to work.
"I believe he doesn't have beef with Paxton, he is just devastated.
"It's a horrible experience."