Athenkosi Maqungo Lights Up UDubs Got Talent Season 5
It is exactly five years since the birth of UDubs Got Talent - and the fifth season of the annual talent search show was as exciting and entertaining as anything that came before.
UDubs Got Talent is a community-building initiative through arts and culture, open to all UWC students (those residing in residence as well as oppidan students full-time and part-time). It showcases the University’s aspiring talent through co-curricular engagements, and affords development and exposure to UWC students.
At the fun-filled final on Saturday, 28 April 2018, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Development and Support, Prof. Pamela Dube, welcomed all the guests and attendees of the show and emphasised the importance of the upcoming SDS Day, and how that relates to the activities that took place at the event.
“This is an annual fun-filled event that brings our students and staff together, during which all SDS Departments showcase the services they offer to support a holistic student experience and success and this comes just before exams so that students may come to realise the free services that are available to them in these stressful times,” she said.
And yes, credit must go to the organisers of the show, who pulled out all the stops and made sure it was a success.
But the stars of the show were the finalists themselves.
Crowd favourite Athenkosi Maqungo was the overall winner for 2018, and he had the audience eating out of his hands.
This highly-talented poet, born and bred from the dusty streets of Zwelitsha in the Eastern Cape and currently enrolled for BCom Accounting, was tested throughout the highly-contested finals.
“First and foremost, I took a chance and wanted to test myself, as I always believe in my ability in poetry,” he says, “but getting to the finals was something I never imagined - let alone winning it.”
Athenkosi’s ambition going forward is to have poetry and magic sessions in Res Life and inspire up-and-coming poets to improve their craft and travel the world.
UDubs Got Talent aims to provide a constructive and vibrant alternative for student recreation - and it definitely achieved that aim, giving the audience the time of their lives and keeping them on their toes with the music and DJ on the night.
Previous season winners came to show their support, and believe Athenkosi has all the attributes to go far in life with his talent.
Athi, as he is affectionately known, emphasises the importance of education in this day and age. He attributes his success mostly to one thing: reading a lot.
“Preparation was vital for me,”says Athenkosi, “and I thought I should give my audience a theatre fill because I can portray myself at the same time.”
Part of Athenkosi’s winnings include R10,000 sponsored by Nedbank, a R2,500 voucher from SDS/Residential Services, a hotel voucher for two for two nights sponsored by XL Millennium Travel, and a personalised UDUBS Got Talent Trophy. Finishing behind him was Vuyani Jantjies (Drama Performance) who came second place, and Zandile Sam (Singer) who finished third.
The future is bright for this well-spoken artist. He wants to complete his studies and qualify and make a living as a Chartered Accountant.
Sibusiso Njeza, the founder of Udubs Got Talent, is impressed with the talent that was on show this year.
“UWC is thrilled to have unearthed so many great acts this year, and we are proud of Athenkosi for winning the competition.' says Mr Njeza. "On behalf of Residential Services staff, I cannot thank all the acts that auditioned enough for showcasing and sharing their talent.”