SA Idols Top 16 contestants Ms Minenhle Ntuli (left) and Ms Nomthandazo Xaba.

Two talented UKZN Students, Ms Minenhle Ntuli and Ms Nomthandazo Xaba, have made it to the Top 16 on season 13 of South African Idols.

The 22-year-old Ntuli is a final year Bachelor of Arts (Legal studies) student while 18-year-old Xaba is a Drama and Performance student. Both students described their experiences on the popular contest as a major learning curve.

Ntuli, who hails from New Germany, defines an Idol as someone who’s “ground-breaking and memorable”. She hopes her story will serve as an inspiration and proof that it is possible to live one’s dreams.

During the Durban auditions, guest Idols judge and radio personality Majota “Phat Joe” Khambule surprised Ntuli. He recognised her as a student activist who had confronted him before. Ntuli is the former President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at UKZN.

‘During theatre week, I learned a lot, especially about singing. I learned that my harmonies had to be put to the test,’ said Ntuli. Group rounds taught them that sometimes it is okay to learn from others and lead from the back.

Xaba who is from Southgate in Durban, said she aspires to ‘be a triple threat as a singer, actress and dancer.’ Despite struggling with her voice, she says she is ready to enjoy the experience and draw from her passion in order to make it all the way to the end and beyond.

Both students are prepared to do their best in the competition while they also hope the publicity garnered will boost their musical careers. They advised other students not to give up on their dreams.

They urged the University community to support them on their Idols journey. ‘I would love students to be fully behind us because we are UKZN products. We are doing this for them, our success is also theirs,’ said Ntuli.

Words by: Nomcebo Mncube

Photograph: Mzansi Magic