Mentor backs Motha in Britain's Got Talent

His love for dance propelled him not to settle for less – mentor

Professional dancer, Musa Motha, lost his leg due to a rare disease at the age of 11.
Professional dancer, Musa Motha, lost his leg due to a rare disease at the age of 11.
Image: Alon Skuy

When choreographer and dancer, Gregory Maqoma, saw amputee dancer Musa Motha walking into his Newtown-based studio in Johannesburg with his two crutches to audition, he was surprised. 

Motha, who was dancing with a group, delivered a performance which impressed Maqoma to sign him up for a Vuyani Dance Theatre Company development programme. Though the auditions were open to everyone, Maqoma said he had never auditioned someone with a disability before.

During the auditions, Maqoma said he never allowed empathy to override his judgment on Motha’s ability.  

Speaking to Sowetan ahead of Motha’s Sunday performance in the Britain’s Got Talent grand finale where he will be flying the SA flag, Maqoma says he believes that his protégé is capable of bagging this one. His friends and fellow dancers are waiting eagerly for the show on Sunday.  

“When I saw him coming into the auditions I said, 'this guy must fight for his place just like everyone else who is here'. He was with a group and he showed that he wanted it more. Because of his determination and hard work, he got himself a spot in our programme. But as soon as Musa joined our development programme, his intentions were clear about what he wanted to achieve. He said he wanted to go perform in New York and as the company we made it happen,” said Maqoma.

“His second wish was to be part of a dance company outside SA and it has happened. His third was to perform on an international stage and it also became a reality. There is no stage bigger that the Britain’s Got Talent. As his mentor, I’ve always worked towards making sure he achieved his goals. It was critical for me in our planning to make sure it happens as we moved forward. Seeing him on that stage means a lot to me and I know it is his time to shine.” 

During training, Maqoma said Motha never wanted to be treated with child gloves.

“He said he wanted to be challenged just like any other dancer who was part of the programme. 

“Musa is a sponge and he never wanted to be babysat. He took a lot of notes and spent extra hours to work on tasks given. What we do every year [is to] give them a task to create a solo work which reflects their own life journey and we mentor them. At the end of the year, they showcase it. Musa created his own work,” he added.

“It is the passion and love for what he does that put him where he is. It is the same love for dance that propelled him to push and never settle for less. Musa wanted to be the best in the industry, not the best within the disability community.” 

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