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Award-winning singer Zonke will join rock royalty Arno Carstens and the legendary Oskido as judges and mentors in the search for South Africa’s next big singing sensation when The X Factor South Africa makes its highly anticipated debut on SABC 1 on Saturday, September 6, at 6pm.

Zonke’s achievements as a singer, songwriter and producer are well known in South Africa, captured most poignantly on her multi award winning double platinum selling album Ina Ethe. She is a multiple South African Music Awards (SAMAs) winner, capturing the awards for Best Live DVD and Best African Adult Album for her recently released Give & Take Live project at this year’s 2014 event. Beyond her own artist career, Zonke has written music for and collaborated with some of South Africa’s most venerated artists, an area where her technical skill set and full range of musical ability is most appreciated.

Zonke comes to The X Factor South Africa with an impressive musical pedigree. Her father Vuyisile Dikana was the drummer for Black Slave and the Flamingo and her late stepmother, Anneline Malebo, sang for the famous Joy outfit of Paradise Road fame.

Zonke will be on the judging panel with another South African with impressive international experience, Arno Carstens.

Oskido is an award-winning producer, performer, radio presenter, record producer and entrepreneur who started Kalawa Records (later Kalawa Jazzmee) with Don Laka and Christos. The record label has been at the forefront of youth culture and has produced top acts such as Bongo Maffin, Mafikizolo, Thebe, Alaska, Professor, Character, Black Motion, Boom Shaka, Zonke, Winnie Khumalo, DJ Zinhle, Magesh and many more. Oskido is also a member of the ground-breaking and eclectic Brothers of Peace – B.o.P (with Bruce Sebitlo) and known for his top-selling Church Grooves compilation series that changed the face of SA house compilations, and in 2012 launched the I Believe project, which is also the name of his radio show on Metro FM. Oskido  was honoured with a  Special Recognition Award  at the 9th Channel O Video Music Awards in 2012 for his contribution in the development of South African music scene, and was part of the Kalawa Jazzmee crew honoured at the SA Dance Music Awards the same year. Together with Greg Maloka, DJ Fresh, Vinny Da Vinci and DJ Christos, he started DJU (deejays unite) that has been responsible for equipping young music names and DJs with valuable industry information through the annual Southern African Music Conference (SAMC).

During his career as the lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls and subsequently as a solo artist, Carstens has released 10 studio albums, five as the lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls, one as half of the Electronica project Bhelltower and four as a solo artist. He has 20 top 10 singles, won five SAMA) and shared the stage with legends of the music world including U2, The Rolling Stones and REM. He has toured sold out shows extensively in South Africa, the UK, Europe and the US, headlined every major South African festival and performed at some of the most legendary international music festivals including Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, V Festival, T in the Park and Hard Rock Calling.

It has already been announced that South African entertainment powerhouse Andile
Ncube will be fronting the show. He will guide viewers through all of the X Factor action and will provide contestants with encouragement and a shoulder to cry on, as well as the more challenging task of keeping the judges in check.

The drama unfolds on SABC 1 over 15 weeks starting on Saturday, September 6, and culminating in the grand live finale in Durban on December 13 when one singer or group will receive a Sony Music Entertainment recording contract and a cash prize of R300 000.

Says Maijang Mpherwane, SABC 1 Head of Bouqet: “SABC 1 is delighted that Zonke, Arno Carstens and Oskido have joined the X Factor South Africa judging panel. They have years of experience both here and abroad. This is a launch pad for somebody with talent but you also have to have the ambition, the work ethic and everything else. These judges understand this. They are driven and hard-working and bring their extensive know-how and knowledge to the show.”

The X Factor South Africa is brought to viewers by SABC 1 in association with the KZN Department of Economic Development and Tourism and Vodacom. The show is produced by Rapid Blue.

South African Editor for
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Duduzile Chiloane – who has written posts on Farai Today.

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