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It was in Joburg that we first met the shy 19-year-old from Al­ber­ton, who seemed to have such self-con­fi­dence is­sues you wanted to climb into the TV and hug her. Thando Mn­gomezulu didn’t even cel­e­brate her golden ticket when she made it into the top 10 – her un­der­stated vic­tory dance had In­sta­gram lolling as she lit­er­ally gave us a Madiba jive. But with time and lots of pa­tience, we got to see Thando emerge from her shell. To­day, you can see she loves she stage and has unleashed her in­ner war­rior queen, and, with it, a sense of fun. She nailed her Des­tiny’s Child ren­di­tion and we were all talk­ing about how she had im­proved, es­pe­cially af­ter her per­for­mance of Soweto Gospel Choir’s Ke Na Le Modisa. Then Thando topped it all last week with Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never. You bet­ter duck be­cause Thando is ready to drop some bombs on stage.


FLY Thando, one of the re­main­ing three con­tes­tants, is now con­fi­dent on stage

SHY Thando Mn­gomezulu dur­ing her au­di­tion at Car­ni­val City in Jo­han­nes­burg

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