While they didn’t win America’s Got Talent, Limpopo’s Ndlovu Youth Choir announced on Thursday they have signed a deal with famous talent manager Simon Cowell.
“We are very excited that Simon Cowell and his company have exercised their option to sign the choir and together with Sony Music in South Africa are working on exciting projects,” the choir’s conductor, Ralf Schmitt, told 702’s Joanne Joseph.
“It is a wonderful compliment to these young people because he wouldn’t do that if he didn’t think there is a future for them and the work they have done,” he added.
On their return to South Africa, the choir was met with a hero’s welcome.
“We knew our families would be there but not the whole of South Africa,” said choir member Sandile Majola.
Their journey on America’s Got Talent came to an end September 19 after American Kodi Lee, who is blind and autistic, was crowned the season 14 winner.
Following the choir’s final performance, of Toto’s classic rock song Africa, Cowell was full of superlatives.
He told them: “You have ended, with that performance, and I really mean this, the best final I have ever sat on in my life.”
Cowell said he always prays that the show will help change people’s lives, and he believes their performance “may have just done it”.
While the choir might not have won the $1 million prize money on the US talent competition, they did arrive back home to a R1 million cheque, handed over by Limpopo Arts and Culture MEC Thandi Moraka.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)