Have a little faith in me: Agri’s Got Talend builds confidence and broadens horizons

America’s Got Talent is a competition that has had the world captivated since 2006 where amateur performers present their singing, dancing, comedy and novelty acts to celebrity judges and an international audience in order to advance in the competition and win a huge prize.

The South African agricultural industry started their own, similar competition in 2014 when Hortgro Executive Director, Anton Rabe realised that there was a wealth of musical talent on the Cape farms that could be encouraged and would empower farm workers in the fruit and wine industries to increase their skillset and gain confidence. Singing is a universal language that requires no expensive instruments or equipment, so the competition has been restricted to singing only.

The competition, currently in its 8th year, is now a joint venture between Hortgro, the Citrus Growers’ Association, Vinpro, SATI (South African Table Grape Industry) and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. However, it is not just a singing competition, there is a social development aspect too. Entrants simply have to submit a voice recording via Whatsapp, but once the top 10 finalists are selected, they are invited to a local spa resort where they spend a week receiving intensive voice, media and social media training. Apart from learning performing skills, finalists also get make-overs including clothes and a self-care package, and attend self-development workshops hosted by Procare, a leading emotional wellness company, which include topics such as conflict resolution as well as money and time management.

This year the competition had to be held virtually due to Covid regulations, but the entrants were undaunted and competition was stiff. After much deliberation, the winner was announced: Faith Nogemane, a general worker from Wildekrans Wine Estate, Botriver became the 8th winner of Agri’s Got Talent on Friday, 1 October.

Ronel Radloff from Diemersfontein, Wellington was second, and Jack Jonas, from CRI Citrus Foundation Block, Uitenhage, took third place.

Top left to right: Jack Jonas, Faith Nogemane, Ronel Radloff

Faith, who won the judges over with her performance of ‘Amazulu’ and ‘Stand up for love’ said that the event had a huge impact on her. “We learned so much in the past week, and although I was motivated to win, I was constantly aware of how talented the other finalists are.”

For more about Faith Nogemane visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SCNJub2dXA and more about the Agris Got Talent competition visit www.agrisgottalent.com

- Blog by Julia Moore