Tribute to uncle drives ‘Idols’ act
UNBEKNOWN to the audience, as he moved with an emotive and powerful rendition of ‘Angel’ by Saran McLachlan, 23-year-old ‘Idols’ Season 8 contestant Siphiwe Gwegwe was paying an emotional tribute to his uncle.
Gwegwe had been given time off to bury his uncle whose funeral took place just a week before the male group’s performances.
His uncle, Abel Gwegwe, was like a father to him. He played the role of a father figure because Gwegwe was raised by a single mother, Flora Gwegwe.
The singer dedicated his act to the memory of his late mentor.
At the end, he could not hold back his emotions. Not surprisingly, he had the audience in tears.
“There was a lot of emotions involved. Even my vocal coach told me to put everything into it,” he said. Gwegwe also stood out from other contestants when his story of determination to make it into the competition was shown on TV.
He was born in Port Nolloth, a small town of 5 000 people in the Northern Cape, barely 90km from Namibia.
Driven by a desire to succeed, he journeyed for 16 hours from Port Nolloth to Johannesburg, albeit in vain, and then on to Durban – all this without telling his mother.
Today his mom is his number one fan. The youngest of four children, Gwegwe talks fondly about her support.
After completing his social work degree, majoring in psychology, last year, he vowed to take his music career seriously.
Fittingly, he is among the top 10 finalists in the male vocalists’ category.