By Sheila Kimani and
So mind-boggling were Sunday night’s events to the 26-year-old that after being declared winner, she had to be allowed some moments to “digest” the good news. After she gathered herself, she breathed many “thank yous” to her fans before confessing that this win was her wildest dream come true.
Matete took home the prize money despite many thrilling and lovable performances that literally threw the contest open, notably from Jackson, the contestant from Rwanda who was the second runners-up.
The first runners-up position went to another Kenyan, Doreen Kimani whose performance on the night was not enough to turn the tables as the votes were already in.
The other performances were perhaps a testimony to how the reality television show has become competitive. Starting with an ensemble by the initial 15 competitors, the cheers for some of the crowd’s favourites who had nonetheless not weathered the competition were audible.
An unlikely star for the night was Steve Gitau with his wacky Michael Jackson parody. His claim to fame thus far was how hilariously offbeat — and memorably so — he was during the Nairobi auditions.
He was there with his ‘rendition’ of Thriller, which left the audience in stitches. The Olympics may have had Mr Bean for the opening ceremony; Gitau did it for TPF5’s finale.
Things turned serious when Joe took to the stage with his rendition of Papa Wemba’s song, followed by Jackson whose performance of Lokua Kanza’s Plus Vivant got a rare standing ovation from Universal Music Group’s representative, Gerrard Foster.
But the night belonged to Matete and her version of Coldplay’s Clocks — a song she had never heard, by a band she had never heard of — was out of this world. She pulled no stops in making it sound original, starting with a heavy African percussion to a rock song which gave it a distinctly African feel.
Then came the moment everyone was waiting for. First to be read out was third runners-up, which went to Burundi’s Joe. When the second runners-up position was awarded to Jackson, for some it became clear who the winner was, as cheers almost drowned out the show’s hosts, Sheila and Mitch.
Yet that was nothing compared to the ruckus that engulfed the Tusker Dome when the winner was finally mentioned.