TWO Eastern Cape gospel singers who made it to the top 10 of the first season of I Want to Sing Gospel say the reality show has done wonders for their careers.
Thabisa Ntseoane, 29, of Motherwell, is busy working on her first DVD which will feature 10 tracks from her debut, Zincane Izibongo zam.
Ntseoane, who made it to the top six, said after she was featured on the SABC2 show she met and worked with East London producer Sivuyile Batela, who is also known as "Vovee".
"Doors started opening up for me. I were invited to perform in gigs and also gave motivational talks to young girls. My DVD should have been out a long time ago, but because of our busy schedules, I have only done two songs. We hope to complete everything before June," she said.
Ntseoane said the show taught her to believe in herself and to push boundaries.
"As a gospel singer, you must lead by example. It also does not help trying to be someone else. You just have to be you. Things were tough on the competition as I was competing among the best and everyone wanted first prize.
"The only way we could keep sane was just being ourselves and not try to imitate somebody else," she said.
She was hoping to get started on her second album as soon as she finished working on the DVD.
"This year I want to focus on my second album. I have done a lot of promotions for the first album and I believe that people now know who Thabisa is," she said.
Mzoxolo Rafani, 22, from Addo, is working on his second album, which he plans to release before the Easter holidays.
Rafani, who made it to the top three, said he took time out from music to finish his matric in 2010.
"After I Want to Sing Gospel, I had to put my music on hold just to focus on my studies. That is why I only recorded my album Uyingcwele last year. It is a 15-track album with powerful songs to heal people's lives.
"I am now working on my second album ... I also want to study business management so that I can take care of the business side of my music," he said.
He said he was amazed that five years after he entered the show, people still recognised him.
"It just feels so good, especially when I am signing those autographs," he said.
Rafani and Ntseoane still have a strong bond and sometimes perform together.
"When we are invited to the same gig, people always ask us to do a song together. I have also featured him in my album," said Ntseoane.