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Old Mutual's Amazing Voices


Amazing Voices' Frequently Asked Questions



Q: What is Amazing Voices? 

A: Old Mutual Amazing Voices is a pan African singing competition that attracts entries from unsigned groups across five African countries who participate in three genres of music, namely: 

- Gospel 

- Pop 

- Rhythm and Blues 

The show involves groups from: 

- Ghana 

- Nigeria 

- Kenya 

- Zimbabwe 

- South Africa 

Q: What is the prize for the winning group? 

A: The winners receive a cash prize of US $ 100 000 so that they can continue developing their acts and, hopefully, can advance to stardom in Africa and beyond the continent. 

Q: Who won the 2020 Amazing Voices Season One? 

A: Wanavokali, a mega-talented acapella group from Kenya, took the top spot and won the grand prize of US $100 000. 

Q: What made Old Mutual decide to host a second season? 

A: Besides the fact that Season One was a resounding success, there are several other reasons behind Old Mutual’s decision to renew their commitment to the event. These include: 

- Old Mutual regarding it as important to continue helping African artists to develop their talents and achieve their dreams. 

- The event being a natural ‘fit’ for Old Mutual, which is a pan African financial institution devoted to assisting people to achieve the best they can through effective personal financial planning. 

- Data gathered in Season One, which showed that the show was enjoyed and followed by millions of people. This, besides exposing viewers to different musical genres, also raised brand awareness of Old Mutual and its services. The DStv channel viewership numbers were as follows: 

Q: Are unsuccessful entrants for season one allowed to try again? Including those in the top 12? 

A: Unsuccessful entrants for Season One can try again (except for the top 12 that participated in Season One). Individual members of a group, that hasn’t reached the top 4 in the competition may join / start another group. Not more than 2 members of this group can start another group and enter the following season. 

Q: How does Old Mutual Amazing Voices help Old Mutual achieve its sponsorship and business objectives? 

A: Old Mutual believes that music promotes understanding and respect between people and nations. Our support of music allows us to reach and connect with a younger audience through the common language of music, which crosses national borders while building brand awareness. 

As a leading pan African financial services institution, we believe that financial education and understanding of finance is essential. Through Old Mutual Amazing Voices, we can speak to the entertainment industry and fans and offer advice and support that promotes self-reliance and the building of sound financial futures. We are also able to show in a practical manner through Amazing Voices that we understand, care for, and support our customers, their families, and broader communities. 

Q: With five countries involved, the logistics must be challenging. How does the competition work? 

A: There are several steps involved in the competition. The structure is as follows: 

- Initial entries are posted digitally. Groups wishing to compete are required to submit a two-minute digital clip which introduces the group. They must also perform a verse and chorus of a song. 

- Those who were selected were invited to closed auditions in the capital city of each country. Nigeria - Lagos, Zimbabwe - Harare, Ghana- Accra, Kenya - Nairobi, South Africa – Johannesburg. The auditions were not opened to public. 

- Leading music personalities lead these closed events in each country which were held during November and December. 

- At these auditions the contestants performed before celebrity selectors in their home countries. The in-country selectors and assistants included : 

· Nigeria: E-Kelly / Aramide 

· Ghana: Pauline Odduro / Reggie Rockstone 

· Kenya: Sanapei Tande / Ted Josiah 

· Zimbabwe: Thembalami Tagwire / Misred 

· South Africa: Buhlebendalo Mda / Morena Sefatsa 

- After this process, each country selects two groups to go forward and travel to Sun City (North West Province, South Africa) to produce the TV series under COVID-19 bubble environment including having an intense coaching bootcamp. 

Q: What is a production COVID-19 bubble? 

A: It is when the production house decides to quarantine all participants, casts, crew, and sponsor of the show in a controlled designated accommodation. All are tested before entry into the bubble and they are shuttled to and from the set until the production is completed. All people in the bubble are regularly tested by a registered senior nurse on a weekly basis. Nobody can leave the bubble until the end of the production. Those people who live in SA will not be able to go home and anyone who flouts this rule will immediately be taken off the production. All members will have limited exposure and groups will be reminded continuously who they can meet with within the production. For instance, crew and participants will stay in one hotel and hosts, judges and sponsor in another. Limited exposure will be monitored for meals as well and timing will be staggered so that groups will not be able to have meals at the same time. 

Q: How did you keep the Production bubble safe?

- To ensure the health and safety of our people Covid-19 testing was done before arrival and every seven days after that for the duration of the production 

- The venue is deep sanitized every 3rd day 

- 435 Antigen tests done and 137 PCR tests 

- No Covid cases were reported 

Q: Who is involved at the 3-week Production bubble? 

- 160 people were involved in the production, including 10 groups from five countries 

- Along with the top 10 groups and the supporting production crew, an experienced judging table from each of the countries supported by the show advisor Zwai Bala participated in the Covid-19 production bubble. 

The talented judges table includes: 

● Zimbabwe’s afro-pop and RnB singer/songwriter, Ammara Brown 

● Kenya’s Filah Tuju, renowned as a performer, voice coach, writer and producer and founder of a Music Academy 

● Ghana’s Trigmatic, a multi-award winner rapper, composer and songwriter 

● South Africa’s Vusi Nova, the best afro album and best male awards winner. 

● Nigeria’s Evelle, a previous Nigeria Idols winner, singer and collaborator 

Q: Part of the production bubble there was a 2-day bootcamp. What is that? 

- The first 2 days of the intensive production schedule involved a Musical bootcamp, where voices are honed, and routines perfected. This bootcamp is designed to enable the selected groups to receive training and assistance from experts. As a leading sponsor of music events, Old Mutual believes that these groups, whether they are successful or not in making their way into the final, should be able to return home equipped with new skills and insights so that they can build their careers. 

- As part of the training and coaching, Old Mutual holds financial education sessions that are integrated into the Bootcamp timetable. This ensures that groups are more financially aware and less likely to make costly mistakes with their careers. 

- Following the bootcamp the contestants continued with the shows production schedule leading up to elimination ‘sing-off’ 

- Four groups then go forward as finalists. 

- One group is then eliminated, leaving three groups to fight for honours in the final. 

Q: Will members of the public be participating in Amazing Voices Season Two? 

A: Yes, there are two opportunities for the public 

- There is a competition that will run from episode 4 until episode 12; and 

- When the final three groups are selected, the public will be invited to vote for their favorite group. These votes are final land binding and will be audited before the winner is announced 

Q: How many entries were there from the various countries in Season One? 

A: The numbers were: 

- South Africa: 509 people 

- Zimbabwe: 273 people 

- Kenya: 165 people 

- Ghana: 57 people 

Q: How many entries are there from the various countries in Season Two? 

A: The numbers were: 

- South Africa: 252 groups 

- Zimbabwe: 66 groups 

- Kenya: 72 groups 

- Nigeria: 130 groups 

- Ghana: 26 groups 

A total of 546 groups entered Season 2 

Q: 2020 has been the Covid-year. Why did Old Mutual go ahead with Amazing Voices Season Two, and how has it accommodated the demands of Covid-19? 

A: We believe that Africans love music and singing - these two loves have transcended and will outlast the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the spirit of having a safe, enjoyable event, Old Mutual has introduced several measures 

to help contain and reduce the spread of the virus. These have included: 

- Managing public gatherings by implementing digital auditions for the first round of entrants. 

- Conducting closed auditions by invitation only for successful groups. 

- The filming crew is limited to bear minimum with only extremely necessary people present. 

 Observing social distances and following the protocols that guide events during the lockdown. 

 Restricting travel by having only two groups per country travelling to SA. 

Q: How did you keep the Production bubble safe? 

- To ensure the health and safety of our people Covid-19 testing was done before arrival and every seven days after that for the duration of the production 

- 435 Antigen tests done and 137 PCR tests 

- No Covid cases were reported 

Q: Changes to the Judges table? 

A: Season One had 4 countries participating so we had four judges which was one per country and a fifth judge, who was referred to when there was a tie. 

In Season Two the competition was extended to five countries with Nigeria being the newbie. Five judges were needed and both Vusi Nova (South Africa) and Evelle (Nigeria) joined the panel 

Q. Changes to Zwai Bala role?

A: In Season One we had Zwai’s role as Musical Director and he mentored and coached the groups.

In Season Two we looked at bringing in a musical department to increase the competition standard. Zwai’s role then changed to show advisor so that he could have more influence on the groups’ performances 

Q: How long does Amazing Voices run for? 

A: Key information is as follows: 

- Broadcasts start date: 11 April 2021 

- There are 13 Episodes broadcast on Sunday evenings, and each episode runs for about 46 minutes. 

- Broadcast times are: 17:00 (SA), 15:00 (GHN) & 18:00 (KE) 15:00 (Nigeria) and 17:00 (Zimbabwe) 

- The episodes are Simulcast on Mzansi Magic, Mzansi Wethu, Africa Magic, Maisha Magic East, and Zambezi Magic. 

The finale will be broadcast on 4 July 2021.


Be part of the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and @OldMutualSA using the hashtags #AmazingVoicesAfrica #OMAVS2.