An agricultural worker in the citrus industry from KMI Farming in Nelspruit, Nonkululeko Sambo, walked away with the Agri’s Got Talent (AGT) 2019 crown in what was described as the toughest competition yet.
Magdaleen Philander from Nonna Estate in Worcester was second, and Zenobia Pietersen from Marianne Wine Estate, near Stellenbosch, was third.
Eight days ago Sambo, who has never flown in an aircraft before, boarded a flight to Cape Town to join nine other talented agricultural workers to prepare for the gala evening final that was held at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West on Friday night.
It was the first time that the Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA) joined the competition as a sponsor.
Earlier Justin Chadwick, CEO of CGA had the following to say as to why they joined the project: “For many years I have observed the growth of Agri’s Got Talent, and witnessed the obvious joy and inclusivity that the competition brings. Farm workers are a treasured part of the agricultural family, and recognition of their talents and contribution through Agri’s Got Talent is appropriate. When CGA was approached to get involved we jumped at the opportunity – to join a well-polished, professional initiative like Agri’s Got Talent is a chance in a lifetime – now let’s see the talent in the citrus industry shine through.”
And the talent shone through. Sambo won the judges and the crowd over with her version of the Leonard Cohen song, Hallelujah.
Sambo who started as a general worker on a citrus farm worked her way up to complete an agricultural diploma and is currently an intern at KMI Farming.
“I didn’t really have big singing dreams, but it was my friends and family who encouraged me to enter. So I took a chance,” an overwhelmed Sambo said.
She won a cash prize of R5000, clothing, make-up and life-skills and voice training, as well as a recording contract worth R15 000 from Wynand Breedt, owner of Traxtudio in Worcester.
This was the sixth year that this very popular competition, the only one of its kind, was held.
Agri’s Got Talent is a social-upliftment project sponsored by Hortgro, the VinPro Foundation, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, the South African Table Grape Industry, and the Citrus Growers’ Association.