Ugandan siblings win East Africa’s Got Talent

Monday October 7 2019

Coca-Cola Marketing Manager Evanson Ndung’u (centre) poses for a photo with East Africa's Got Talent Season One winners, siblings Ezekiel and Esther Mutesasira from Uganda. PHOTO | COURTESY

Coca-Cola Marketing Manager Evanson Ndung’u (centre) poses for a photo with East Africa's Got Talent Season One winners, siblings Ezekiel and Esther Mutesasira from Uganda. PHOTO | COURTESY 

BBC
By BBC
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THE CITIZEN
By THE CITIZEN
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Ugandan siblings Esther and Ezekiel Mutesasira have been crowned the winners of the first edition of East Africa's Got Talent in a contest that drew participation from four regional countries.

The singing duo won a cash prize of $50,000 (£40,000) in the Sunday night finale that had six contestants.

The other finalists were Comedic Dance Group (Uganda), Dance Alliance Network (Uganda), Jehovah Shalom Acapella (Uganda), Janella Tamara (Kenya), Spellcast (Kenya) and Inteyoberana cultural troupe (Rwanda).

Esther and Ezekiel's rendition of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey's 'When you believe', won over judges and tweeters who commended them using the hashtag #EAGTFinale.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sent his congratulation to the duo in a tweet soon after they were announced winners.

Esther and Ezekiel got to the finals at the expense of fellow Ugandan sensation Leyna Kagere who wowed the judges in the early stages of the contest.

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The competition is part of Got Talent franchise owned by English entertainment mogul Simon Cowell. It drew participation from Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and hosts Kenya.

East Africa's Got Talent was produced by South African company Rapid Blue the same company that has produced the South African and Nigerian editions.

The show became the topic of a heated debate in August after the Burundi government accused a group of Burundian refugees of illegally playing the country’s famous traditional drums on the show.

The law in Burundi prohibits people from playing the national drums without the government's authorisation.

Burundi’s ritual royal drum playing was recognised as a protected cultural activity by Unesco in 2014.

The drummers who took part in the talent show had sought refuge in neighbouring Rwanda, a regional nemesis of Burundi.