The winner and runners up from the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs with Zee TV CEO Harish Goyal and Ratna Siriah, Business Head - Africa

South African audiences in Durban and Johannesburg were treated to the singing prowess of the young talent from the recent Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs.

South African fans of the popular singing competition show from Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs were blown away by the talent displayed on their recent tour of South Africa.

South African audiences in Durban and Johannesburg were treated to the singing prowess of the young talent from the recent Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs held early in December 2017.  Winner Shreyan Batta, aged 12, performed to sell-out crowds with fellow finalists Yumna Ajin, aged 11; Sonakshi Kar, aged 13; and 5-year-old Jayas Kumar.

The tour started off with a performance at Sibiya Sun Park in the coastal city of Durban on 2 December and a special appearance that day at the Taste of India event. The young foursome then enthralled fans with a well-received performance on Sunday 3 December at Carnival City.

Fans in Johannesburg were also thrilled to meet the well-spoken youngsters at a meet and greet at the Zee TV Africa offices, and later at the Oriental Plaza.

Harish Goyal, CEO of Zee TV Africa, said “This was an exciting event on our calendar as Africa was the first stop after the grand finale. The Lil Champs will jet off to the US after having thrilled the SA fans with their remarkable talent. We wish them well.” The young stars also met Zee TV’s Ratna Siriah, Business Head – Africas.

Winner Shreyan Batta, aged 12, said in an interview that he was very proud of his achievement and he was grateful that his parents, the judges and the grand jury were very happy with his performance. He started singing at the age of four and aspires to be a playback singer one day. Asked what he enjoyed the most about the singing competition, he said it was the good music and making of friends with the other participants and also meeting many celebrities. His gratitude and humility were very refreshing attributes for one so young and so talented. 

In an interview, Yumna Ajin said that the experience was good and her singing improved as she learned more about music. She also had fun and enjoyed the friendly 10-month programme which involved hard work and tight competition. She has been singing for five years and would like to be a playback singer or a rock star. Her best playback singers are India’s golden icon Lata Mangeshkar and Zee’s golden girl Shreya Ghosai, who was a winner of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa – the adult singing competition. Yumna aims to improve her singing and learn more about music on her way to achieve her dream. Asked about her experience visiting Johannesburg for the first time, she said it was very beautiful, clean and green and reminded her of her own hometown, lush and beautiful Kerala, also known as ‘God’s country’. She experienced South African people as being very loving and supportive. When asked how she managed the singing programme and schoolwork, Yumna said she was given support from her school with extra lessons to accommodate the time off, and her mother also helped her.

Sonakshi Kar, told interviewers that the singing programme had been a very good experience and she learned lots of things she didn’t know before, including how to sing in front of people.  She started to sing when she was four years old, and her father and many family members also sing. She too wishes to be a playback singer and wants to be like her idol whom she worships. When asked how she managed her time and balanced her schoolwork and her singing, Sonakshi said singing is a passion and she also loves her studies, which enables her to do both.

The youngest Lil Champ, Jayas Kumar, took to his new celebrity status without any fuss, enjoying his lunch while playing games as his mother spoke about their first time in Johannesburg and how she had taken time off work to guide and support her young star. He was unfazed by all the attention of the fans, and when he'd had enough of posing for photos, said 'Finish" with a cool cutting gesture of his cute little arms, making everyone laugh. 

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by Alice da Silva