Highlights from Episode 2 of East Africa’s Got Talent
The second episode of East Africa’s Got Talent kicked off on a high note with an electric performance from all-male dance-acrobatic group Kimya Kimya from Nairobi.
The team, a majority of them clad in Golden State Warriors Point Guard Steph Curry’s jerseys, proceeded to the next stage after receiving four ‘Yes’ votes from all four judges owing to their magnificent moves all over the dance floor.
21-year-old self-taught singer and guitar player Mark Angachi from Ngara in Nairobi came next and moved the crowd to near tears with his rendition of ‘Tennessee Whiskey.’
Besides his soulful performance, Mark also told of how he was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia when he was still in high school and was forced to drop out to undergo chemotherapy.
And, out of ten patients that went through the treatment process, he was the only survivor. He now just wants to win the Ksh.5 million prize money so he can pay the debt he still owes the hospital.
The judges gave him a node with four ‘Yes’ votes and he will move on to the next stage and get closer to fulfilling that dream.
“It’s unusual for someone so young to sing so soulfully. I’m clinically blind on one eye as well, that hasn’t stopped me from pursuing my biggest dreams. No matter what happens in this competition, to me you’re a winner and you’re going to continue winning,” said Judge Vanessa Mdee.
Sonda ya Dhiru, a seven-member (all male) band/choir from Tanzania that has been doing music for 12 years now stepped to the stage next and wowed the audience with the melodious synchronization of their voices.
The band was pushed to the next stage with unanimous ‘Yes’ votes from the judges; taking them a step closer to their desire of winning the prize money so as to “build studio and children’s home for orphans.”
Next on stage was Young Kizito, a dance group from Kenya composed of 7 kids; 6 boys and one girl.
Their routine to a blend of various songs mostly by Kenyan Gospel musicians Moji Shortbabaa and Mercy Masika as well as a few acrobatic flips was however not able to send them to the next stage as judges Vanessa Mdee and Gaetano Kagwa pressed the red buzzer.
“My problem is your timing, your synchronization is not 100%,” said Gaetano, while Jeff Koinange also voted ‘No’ with Rwandan judge DJ Contact Makeda however voting ‘Yes’.
Ugandan jazz drummer Kirabo Elvis, 8, also proceeded with four ‘Yes’ votes after his energetic performance on the drums that got the crowd on their feet amidst shouts of ‘Igweeee.’
Their creative traditional outfit and flipping acrobatic moves was not enough to send The Warriors Acrobats from Mombasa, Kenya, through as two out of the four judges voted ‘No.’
The two were Mr. Koinange and Mr. Kagwa, who felt the moves “are average.” Ms. Makeda and Ms. Mdee however gave them the nod.
Tanzanian dancer Sub Zero the Hero smoothly sailed to the next round after balancing his body and managing to flexibly move around on top of two sticks while upside down.
According to Ms. Makeda, the 23-year-old’s moves “could compete internationally, looked like Olympic standards.”
Perhaps the most entertaining performance of the night came from Maisalla Juma, stage name Power Black Nyati; a Tanzanian (woman) body builder with unbelievable strength.
Ms. Juma started her performance by laying on the ground facing up and putting a piece of wood on top, then a motorcycle riding over her.
The unflinching woman – who also referred to herself as ‘The Cunning Woman’ and ‘The Menace to Men’ – then placed a watch on the ground and tasked Gaetano with pushing her right hand down till it touches the watch.
Ms. Juma, in an unflinching display of strength, was able to fend of Gaetano; who was using both his hands while she was only using her right.
She proceeded to the next stage despite one of the judges – Koinange – voting ‘No.’
Then came Ugandan siblings Esther and Ezekiel Mutesasira who also brought the house down; first performing together before each singing solo.
The duo began their performance with their rendition of ‘Hallelujah’ before Gaetano stopped them midway and asked each of them to sing independently; presumably to evaluate their solo vocal strengths.
They each gave solo fiery performances, and moved the judges by displaying they were each other’s fan, thereby sailing through with four ‘Yes’ votes.
Young Circus, three male jugglers from Rwanda, had a few slip-ups during their performance – occasionally dropping their juggling objects a few times – but still proceeded despite Gaetano’s solo ‘No’ vote.
Another interesting performance was from 19-year-old Rwandan rapper Taykun degree who moved the crowd and got them singing along to his track ‘say my name’ despite the fact that he performed in his own language that was foreign to most of the audience.
Koinange voted ‘No’, but Taykun will live to fight another day at the East Afria’s Got Talent stage as the remaining judges all voted ‘Yes.’
“There are better dancers out there, if we push you to the next stage I don’t know if you’ll be able to handle,” said Gaetano to the next performers, versatile Nairobi group Art Zone.
They however got nods from the rest of the judges hence are still in contention for the prize money.
Ugandan beatboxer David Kagwe, who was the final performer of the night, also moved to the next stage after his performance earned him unanimous ‘Yes’ votes.
There was no Golden Buzzer in the second episode, unlike in the first where 7-year-old Ugandan Leyna Kagere became the first receiver during the East Africa Got Talent premier episode after her powerful rendition of ‘One day at a time’.
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