BY ESE DIBEBI
TLC Entertainment’s (DStv 172) Next Great Presenter campaign is heating up and we can now introduce you to the Top 12 semi-finalists who have made it through to the next stage. The Top 12 were selected from the more than 1500 auditions received from passionate fans all over the African continent.
“We would like to congratulate our finalists on making it to the next round of auditions. Each one of them demonstrated passion, pizazz and confidence, not to mention their love for the channel. We are eager to see who puts it all on the line to become our first African TLC Next Great Presenter,” said Lee Hobbs, VP of Channels for Discovery Networks.
Meet the finalists who will go through to the next phase of the competition:
First to be revealed is ADENIKE O. ADEBAYO. This Nigerian presenter, host, writer, Nollywood Movie Awards panellist and film consultant aims to be nothing but herself. “I’ve always believed that I was created to speak, to have a voice and to use my voice for a purpose. This is something that comes naturally to me and doing so in front of an audience or camera is an art that I’m passionate about,” said Adenike.
Second up is Kenya’s FELIX EARNEST OTIENO MUDUDA whose fun loving and bubbly character caught the judge’s eye. With more energy than the Duracell bunny, Felix is always living in the moment with an eye for the future. “I’m ecstatic, elated, and jubilant,” said Felix. “The joy is unreal from the announcement and every day that passes just adds to the experience. Being part of the Top 12 is easily the most intense emotional experience for me,” he continued.
Joining the group of semi-finalists is BAHUMI MADISAKWANE from South Africa. “Lover of life, lover of people and all things entertainment,” is how she describes herself. As a highly optimistic and people’s person, Bahumi loves making others happy, and insists on having a clear direction in life no matter how long it takes to get there. “I make the best of every moment and find excitement in making others have a great time. “I’m extremely excited to be part pf TLC’s Next Great Presenter search and feel humbled to be part of the few of many who were chosen. I can’t wait,” said Bahumi.
TLC Entertainment’s fourth contestant, TENDAI KARONGA from Zimbabwe is all about being true to herself. “Presenting a fun show? Check. Speaking to a wide audience? Check. Embarking on a new adventure? Check. I think that’s the only way to really live,” says Tendai. It’s taken her a while but this talented women has proved that she is ready for the challenge.
Then, passionate TLC Entertainment (DStv 172) super-fan LISA FIANDEIRO says the channel has given her more life options. “Thanks to TLC I don’t even know if I want to get married but I know exactly what my wedding dress should look like. Not only do I love watching TLC but I’m excited for this opportunity to get more involved with the channel. I can’t believe this is happening and I can’t wait to see what happens next,” says Lisa.
Watch out fellow contestants, I’m a force to be reckoned with,” warns 21-year-old CRYSTAL KAYARO EMONDE from Kenya. She is currently majoring in Biomedical Engineering at the Kenyatta University.” I am very self-driven and always intrigued to embark on new adventures. Just like my name suggests, I always make sure to leave an impression wherever I go and I believe that this is my moment to shine,” she said.
South African finalist TRACY BONOLO MGOLODELA says she will be competing with nobody but herself. “I am a bubbly, hardworking, wanderlust spirited person, I’m always dressed with a smile and love nothing more than making people around me happy,” says Tracy. “To be considered as part of the Top 12 is such an honour, I still pinch myself just to be sure I’m not dreaming!! This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, now just to make it official and become number one,” she continued.
Then there’s 25-year-old HR intern MPIWA BAGWASI from Botswana who says she is ready to be TLC’s Next Great Presenter. “It’s an exciting time to be African and the perfect moment to be me,” says Mpiwa. “I am thrilled to be in the Top 12 and TLC is pretty amazing for creating a tremendous platform for an African girl like me to shine and like Iyanla Vanzant. I am ready to do the work and like Oprah I am going to own it,” she continued.
Chasing the light in Johannesburg is STAR KHULU, a brand architect, qualified journalist and avid fashion lover from South Africa. “I am beyond excited about this opportunity! It means more to me than just what it is. TLC is showing my confidence and dreams more tender loving care than they will actually ever know. I’m leading with the only thing I knew would not change from birth – my name. In everything I do, I’m letting the sunshine in, just chasing my light,” explains Star.
The second male to make the cut is DAVID MBEHA. Hailing from Namibia, David is passionate 20-year-old presenter who believes that every dream is possible. “I made a promise to my mother before she passed on that I would pursue my dream of being a TV presenter. Presenting has been my escape from everything and I believe am given this talent for a reason,” explains David.
Up next is KYLIE ERIKSEN from South Africa. “I’ve been working to become an entertainer ever since I was a child and I have been chasing my dreams for as long as I can remember,” says Kylie. After finishing a degree in drama, she began working as a freelance performer, choreographer and cameraman/ editor whilst attending a television presenting course. Never one to shy away from a microphone, Kylie has a true passion and love for presenting. “I couldn’t believe it when the phone rang and they told me I was through to next stage! I laughed, I cried, I collected myself and then became hysterical all over again. To the next stage… and beyond,” exclaims Kylie.
Finishing the list of Top 12 finalists is full-time Professional Acting for Camera student, ANRAY AMANSURE. She has performed at festivals, international theatre productions and music concerts and has recently started training at Bonfire Theatre Company. “I am extremely excited about having been chosen as one of the 12 semi-finalists and I’m ready to bring Africa’s best to TLC,” says Anray.
The Top 12 semi-finalists will now have the opportunity to prove that they are the perfect fit for Africa’s #1 lifestyle channel at a three-day bootcamp in Johannesburg where they will attend various mentorship sessions hosted by experts in the industry.
In the end, it will be up to the viewers to choose the winner from the three shortlisted finalists who make it through the boot camp stage. The winner will ultimately be crowned TLC’s Next Great Presenter and become the official host of TLC TOP 10 – a brand new series coming to TLC Entertainment in December.
To find out more, keep watching TLC Entertainment and visit the TLC Next Great Presenter website.