‘The Voice UK Zim descent contestant Donel destined for greatness’

UK born Zimbabwean contestant in The Voice UK Donel Mangena (left) was yesterday chosen by Will.i.am to go through to the semi-finals and is tipped to win the reality show whose finale is on April 8.(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

…Latest winner odds tip Donel Mangena for victory

Ngoni Dapira

THE United Kingdom born Zimbabwean contestant in The Voice UK Donel Mangena yesterday (Saturday) went through to the semi-finals of the reality show after another impressive performance in the Knockout round.

The talented 16-year old who has been favourite to win ever since his blind audition is beyond doubt destined for greater things in the music industry as he is a true showman that you will never get tired to see performing. Be sure to remember this name as it might next be heard at the Grammy Awards. His father Nkosana a Bulawayo-born musician and composer was known as Mangesto in his musical days back in Zimbabwe, and throughout the show Donel has evidently shown that music runs in their veins.

L-R: Will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson, Sir Tom Jones and Olly Murs are this year’s coaches on The Voice UK.

The music reality show kicked off on January 6 and this year’s winner will scoop a life changing record contract with Polydor Records. Olly Murs was the only addition to this year’s coaches with will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson and Sir Tom Jones making a return on the show.

During the blind auditions Donel’s grandmother wowed the crowd with her dances in celebration of her grandson’s stunning performance that immediately got the attention of will.i.am in 18 seconds.

Donel’s rendition of Major Lazer and Justin Bieber’s ‘Cold Water’ in the blind audition stunned all the judges especially when he added the Ndebele lyrics to the song in his chorus. It was memorable to say the least, not leaving out his visiting grandmother from Bulawayo that stole the limelight on the stage with her slick dance moves as she celebrated her grandson’s knockout performance.  The Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am was the first one in 18 seconds to hit the buzzer followed by Olly then Jennifer and lastly Tom. In the Battles round Donel put in another fantastic performance and his coach will.i.am opted to save him over Rhianna Abrey after they sang Rain by The Script.

In yesterday’s Knockout round singing Bruno Mars song ‘Finesse’ in a recital that would have left Bruno green with envy, Donel gave a polished show adding some rap in Ndebele which got will.i.am and Jennifer keyed up. To sum it all up he owned the stage bringing out a combination of the sweet Justin Bieber in his teenage days through his adorable charming looks and distinct, razor-sharp voice and of Chris Brown with his energetic dance moves that are well-timed and impulsive.


As usual Donel received overwhelming comments from his coach,”…I think you need to bring out ladders for the other singers to sing on, so that they can reach the bar he (Donel) raised,” said will.i.am ardoringly.

Donel lived with his grandmother in Bulawayo for a few years of his childhood as his parents wanted him to be in sync with his Zimbabwean roots, but he now lives in Southampton with his parents. The young man is beyond doubt set to be the next Craig David of the ‘Walking Away’ fame, that also grew up in Southampton in London, and rose to fame in 1999 at the age of 18 becoming a global music icon that sold over 15 million records and produced global chart busters.

The Knockout round held yesterday was the penultimate round before the live finals. Six singers from each coach’s team performed for survival, with the number of singers being halved.

Only two from each team will be successful and make it through to the live shows, meaning that there will be left with a total of eight finalists. There will be only two live shows this year and the final will be on April 8.

Other contestants that went through to the semi-finals yesterday were Jamie Grey, Ruti Olajugbagbe and Belle Voci. They will be joined by Lauren Bannon, Lucy Milburn and Tai to battle it out next week.

In the semi-finals the coaches have no say in who goes through, with only the public deciding on the final four.



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