Zwane wins talent search show, cash and recording deal

Teen emerges as gospel's new 'Big Fish'

gospel music legend, Sipho “Big Fish” Makhabane hanging over a Cheque of R50 000 to Lindokuhle Zwane from Ermelo in Mpumalanga.
gospel music legend, Sipho “Big Fish” Makhabane hanging over a Cheque of R50 000 to Lindokuhle Zwane from Ermelo in Mpumalanga.
Image: MANDLA KHOZA

Nineteen-year-old Lindokuhle Zwane was named the winner of gospel legend Sipho “Big Fish” Makhabane’s talent search, walking away with R50,000 and a recording deal. 

The competition, which was taken to all the corners of Mpumalanga, is a search for talented rural gospel musicians. 

Zwane, who is upgrading her Grade 12 marks, outsmarted more than 10 other young people from the province’s three districts to be crowned the winner in an event held at the Mbombela Civic Centre on Saturday evening. 

“I can’t believe I’m the winner,” said Zwane. 

“I’ve always wanted to share my God-given voice with the people and when a friend of mine shared the audition details I couldn’t wait. My singing started when I was about 12, during my grandmother’s wedding. My church, Mount Zion, took me into the worship team. From then I was called to sing in different places around Ermelo and now I think I’m ready for the gospel music industry. I would like to thank father Sipho Makhabane for going down to our level and helping us grow,” said Zwane. 

The award ceremony was preceded by a live music video recording by all the contestants, who are now featured in the Mpumalanga Praise choir, which Makhabane started in 2016. 

“I’m a product of these children’s grandmothers and grandfathers, who have supported me since 1988, when I entered the gospel music industry,” said Makhabane.

“I’m who I am because of the support of their parents and it has been in me that I must grow other gospel music singers in the province of Mpumalanga and the whole country. This year’s theme is discover, nurture and expose this talent . Working with stakeholders like the national lotteries commission, this has been possible. 

“In her (Zwane) there’s talent and it needed just to he discovered, developed and exposed. This year’s search for talent was very tough, all these contestants are gifted and we shall work with them in Mpumalanga Praise.” 

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