Eric Moyo makes history

Eric received more public votes from M-Net Idols viewers in the region than his rival, 19-year-old Nicolette Kiiga of Uganda to pocket US$80 000 and a recording contract with international giant Sony/BMG.

As part of the recording deal, Eric is also assured of US$25 000 in guaranteed album sales from Celtel, a leading mobile phone network in East Africa.

He also won smaller goodies, which included a 42-inch LG plasma television set.

A darling of the audience, the 26-year-old Eric made sure that the Zimbabwean flag was at the Bomas auditorium and once he was declared winner, he had it on his shoulders on stage before joining his parents, who made a surprise appearance, in the crowd.

“It feels wonderful to be here and to be crowned the winner of Idols. I’m extremely excited, I’m overwhelmed and I can’t say much in this state,” said Eric soon after the show.

Eric had not made any plans for his parents to be part of Saturday night’s grand finale and was shocked to find them there on the big day and he couldn’t hold back emotions while on stage, right in front of them.

He had to cut short his rendition of Michael Bolton’s version of “When a Man Loves a Woman” as he started crying having changed part of the lyrics to say “. . . I love my mother so much . . .”

Realising that emotion had overwhelmed Eric, the crowd gave him a standing ovation for about two minutes before Zimbabwean presenter Lebo (Lebogang Mzwimbi) took over.

“I was shocked. I didn’t think they would be here and I had preferred they were not here because I would have taken any result without any problem.

“Them being here made me want to win, but fortunately I won and it became important that they were here with me, I was very happy in the end.

“But it disturbed me during the show and I was crying while performing on stage,” explained Eric. He added that what made the success even more exciting for him was that he almost missed out after coming unstuck during the preliminary auditions at Celebration Centre in Harare four months ago.

“I forgot the words (lyrics) in the middle of a song and I was fortunate to stay. I owe my success tonight to everyone ‘ my parents, my pastor, the judges, Ammara (Brown), but most importantly, I owe it to God.”

He is still to decide what to do with the US$80 000 but he has already made a decision to go into music full-time.

“I will be getting into the music industry and making my name out there for the rest of the world. Obviously as young people, we are biased towards Western music ‘ soul and RnB.

“One thing I want to do is to fuse it and put a lot of African stuff in it. I’m going to accept that I’m black and I need to put the African languages into RnB.”

Nicolette, whose parents have been based in Harare for over two decades, is Ugandan by descent, but Zimbabwean by birth and she was at Arundel for her high school between 2002 and last year.

She admitted that she knows very little about Uganda and auditioned for the Idols contest at the Celebration Centre where she sat with Eric without knowing they would be together all the way to the final. Although she intends to keep singing, Nicolette will prioritise school and she will be starting her university studies in actuarial sciences.

“Just being in the final was a huge achievement for me and I would want to congratulate Eric for winning. After this I will definitely be going to school although I will continue with music,” said Nicolette.

Eric said he would “definitely” buy Nicolette a present from his US$80 000 prize money.

This was in response to a question from a Ugandan journalist who wanted to know whether Eric would consider sharing the money with Nicolette.

“Nicolette is my sister, so definitely I will buy her something like a violin, definitely.” ‘ The Herald.

August 2008
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