Early this month, young performers from Uganda, the Ghetto Kids, made news and history when they fiercely competed on Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) and made it to the finals.
The dance music group, composed of children from the Katwe slums in Kampala, did the continent proud as they boldly took on the competition on the international talent show.
“A group of talented young dancers from Uganda warmed hearts worldwide after earning the coveted “golden buzzer” on Britain’s Got Talent,” The Conversation reported.
The report adds that the children come from a humble background, making their story all the more touching and inspiring.
“For many of these children, there are deeply troubling reasons for their entry into care, and many have challenging childhoods away from their families.”
The group’s journey through the show started with the historic moment when they first blew the judges away and earned their spot in the competition.
They then went on to win the hearts of audiences across the globe, receiving the highest number of public votes, and securing a spot in the top 10.
The talented dancers impressively finished in sixth place.
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Meanwhile, the group boasts millions of views on their YouTube channel and a rapidly growing fanbase.
“They even had the incredible opportunity to feature in a mind-blowing music video alongside the renowned US-Moroccan rap sensation, French Montana, back in 2017,” Africa News reports.
Ghetto Kids founder Dauda Kavuma said in an interview that the group finally felt recognised for putting Uganda and Africa on the map for the first time.
“The Uganda Tourism Board and the Tourism Ministry here all laid out a grand welcome for the children on their return home. This type of reception has never been given to us before and the children are still recovering from the long day acknowledging the cheers from the crowds along the route from the airport,” he said.
But the Ghetto Kids were not the first African group to make the world pause and take note.
The Mzansi Youth Choir, a vocal group from South Africa, brought talent judge Simon Cowell to tears and earned the first audience “golden buzzer” on America’s Got Talent (AGT).
That was on the first episode of Season 18, which kicked off at the start of June.
“The choir’s touching tribute to Jane 'Nightbirde' Marczewski (an AGT contestant who died after battling cancer) struck a chord with Cowell, who called the performance ‘breathtaking,’” USA Today reported.
“This brought back so many memories for me,” a tearful Cowell said. “I know how much this would have meant to her. Right until the end, she was so passionate about sharing her music. This has gone all over the world, and you come back here with the most amazing tribute.”
The group’s golden buzzer moment on the show has made headlines, with Billboard describing their performance as “something special.”
“Hailing from Soweto, a township of Johannesburg, the choir was formed 20 years ago as a safe space for youngsters to develop and grow. On stage, at the judging table and in living rooms around the world,” Billboard reported.
And four years ago, another South African choir went all the way to the finals of America's Got Talent Season 14.
Here at home, Neema Ntalel Silayio made it to the finals of the highly competitive singing show The Voice Holland in 2018.
Throughout the show, Ntalel wore traditional Maasai attire, sweetly paying homage to her home country.
In 2005, the singer won the KORA Award for the best female artiste, East Africa, and the win secured her a six-week music tour in Canada.