Port Alfred music fanatic Ziyanda Bans caught local residents by surprise when she was one of the Idols South Africa participants on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) with her golden voice singing Inde le ndlela endiyihambileyo (translated, this is a long way I have travelled).
Idols South Africa has become a Sunday-night staple and declares itself Mzansi’s biggest reality show.
Bans’ unexpected appearance on Idols South Africa on July 18 in the evening saw her stealing the last remaining hours of Mandela Day as she dominated WhatsApp statuses with congratulations from local residents.
Singing from the heart in front of professional judges, Bans sang Inde le ndlela endiyihambileyo by Ami Faku.
According to Bans the song is a testament of her journey.
“The song for me is an entire representation of how far I have come as a person and the road I am still yet to tread, grateful for the lessons and welcoming the wisdom that comes with it.”
Bans said she was trained as a classical and jazz singer and writes and performs her own music. She also advocates for change through music to make the world a different place the moment she is given an opportunity.
Talking about her inspirational sources she said: “My repertoire is highly influenced by the likes of Mam Miriam Makeba, Nina Simone, Billy Holiday and Letta Mbulu.”
She said she does not want to write and perform music that has no substance.
“I believe that I am an instrument of change. I am an education and gender activist, I do plenty of work for and with the youth around the country, and with every song I write I try to incorporate that. My philosophy is that with whatever talent, skill, resource that one possesses they can change the world for the better with it and that is my full intention,” she said.
While Bans was excited to have gone a long way in a competitive music show she said her journey meant much more for the Port Alfred at large.
“Port Alfred is a very small town, there is a great potential for success for the youth that lives in this town. I would like to first thank everyone who is supporting me on this journey. With the support that I have been getting I feel so humble and encouraged,” she said.
Bans hopes that her journey is an eye opener of how much people each need each other.
“More than anything I would like to take this opportunity to say, Umntu ngumntu ngabantu (I am because you are). I wish my going through and passing this stage on the Idols competition could be a positive representation that we need one another, we should support one another and we have each other.
“We have so many young people in our communities that need our support in different forms, be it art, academics and life. May this be a representation even to our governments, local companies and the community at large that supporting a young person is to believe in the positive future of our country. My breakthrough is a possible breakthrough of another young person,” she said.