Wakhumbachi Kaluwa has won the 2012 E-Wallet. A meagre 0.3 percent pushed her to the top spot pushing Taonga Kanthungo to the second position.
Glamour and splendour characterised 2012 E-Wallet talent finals at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre on Saturday night. Not only that, it was a girls’ night, a night of who is who in voice as the two female finalists Wakhumbachi and Taonga went head-to-head in an almost tie-score to decide who carries the K500 000 (about $1 515) grand prize purse.
Twenty-nine-year-old Guise Pemba, the only male in the finals—who also enjoyed populist voting since the beginning of the competition in September last year—could not believe that the two girls had floored him in scores.
His last performance in which he was dressed like Neyo could not predict a clear loss against the girls.
Three judges Qabaniso Malewezi, Marvin Hanke and Dumisani Mfune put their votes to the ladies, before people’s votes through text messages were counted.
Malewezi in his final judging remarks commended Wakhumbachi and gave her his vote. Mfune also gave his vote to the Blantyre-based girl. But analytical Hanke who had to read to the public all the artistic qualities he saw in the three contenders gave Taonga the winning vote. He said the 13-year-old has a calm voice, well modulated, warm, colourful, powerful, expressive and sings from the bottom of her heart.
The judges’ votes contributed 50 percent to the final votes. Another 50 percent was from public votes.
Just minutes before the final results were announced, Njamba Room, which was packed beyond capacity, was switched on to contrasting choruses. Some chanting for Taonga while others chanted for Wakhumbachi. “Tao! Tao! Tao!” were some of the chants and others chanted “Wakhu! Wakhu! Wakhu!”
It was obvious that the two were favourites, but a blast of noise and ululations that erupted after Wakhumbachi was named the winner proved that the majority were supporting her.
“I am humbled. It was a tight race and I was not expecting it because I respect Taonga so much. She is very talented,” said Wakhumbachi in a saluting statement to the young and humbled Taonga, who sings for Calvary Family Church (CFC) in Lilongwe.
In reaction to the results, Taonga only said: “I am in pain, but I salute Wakhumbachi.”
Wakhumbachi, who will be travelling to Namibia for her Bachelor of Business Administration degree shortly, has a passion for music and she is expecting to release more singles by close of this year.
Apart from the K500 000 prize, the 17-year-old has been awarded recording contract with MultiChoice Malawi to record and shoot a video of her single I Will be There, which is expected to beam live on the just launched GOtv.
This is the third time the talent show is being held.