JAZZ singer Nthakoana Ngatane has been selected to audition for the British television talent show The Voice UK on 21 June 2016.
However, the songstress told the Weekender this week she does not have the M20 000 needed for her transport and accommodation costs.
The Voice UK is a reality television series that features top musicians and producers who serve as coaches looking for a talented new artist, who could become a global superstar. The coaches do not judge the artists by their looks, personalities, stage presence or dance routines but only their vocal ability. They include producer and singer will.i.am, singers Rita Ora and Jessie J among others.
Past winners include Leanne Mitchell, Andrea Begley, Jermaine Jackson, Stevie McCrorie and Kevin Simm. The winner of the 2017 edition will land a recording deal with top British label, Polydor Records, which has recorded artists including James Brown, Elton John and Cheryl Cole.
Ngatane, who is also a local SABC correspondent, said she was struggling to raise the money to cover the airfare and visa expenses among other costs.
“The return ticket to the United Kingdom will cost about M11 000, while the visa costs M7 500 which I am unable to raise,” she said.
“I intend to leave for London on 18 June to have enough time to prepare for the auditions. So, the cost of accommodation will depend on the number of days I will spend there.”
Ngatane called on good Samaritans to come to her aid in raising the money, saying her participation would also raise Lesotho’s profile.
“I have looked at the artists who won The Voice UK in the past, and none of them were from a small country like Lesotho with the attendant challenges for up-and-coming artists,” she said.
“If I win the competition, I will establish connections with prominent people in the music industry to pave the way for local artists to make inroads beyond Lesotho’s borders.
“Even if I fail to win the contest, it would still be beneficial since I will showcase what Lesotho has to offer on a global platform.”
The Matukeng-born singer has two albums under her belt namely Journey to Myself (2007) and Mosia Motobatsi which was released in 2011. One of Ngatane’s most known compositions is Msholozi, in which she appeals to South Africa – through President Jacob Zuma – to treat Basotho with more compassion as a neighbouring country.
She has performed in Botswana and South Africa where she featured on various SABC music programmes such as Afro Café and Moribo. Ngatane has also been a judge on the Vodacom Lesotho Superstar talent search competition.