Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestants

The Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 contestants were revealed on Sunday 28 August 2016.

After hours of standing in audition queues, the thrill of receiving a Golden Ticket, the suspense of the journey to Theatre Week, the heartbreak of watching new friends depart in tears, and the anxiety of knowing your dream is within reach, this season’s Top 16 have been announced and you can check them out below.

Amanda Kunene

Age: 22

Amanda Kunene, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Amanda is from Durban North where she lives with her mother, twin sister, and younger sister.

She’s currently studying towards an Honours Degree in Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

She hopes Idols SA will help her land a recording deal and a name in the entertainment industry.

Bevin Samuels

Age: 19

Bevin Samuels, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Bevin is from the friendly city of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

The youngest of all the contestants, he has taken a gap year to pursue his music career.

He was the first contestant to receive four yesses in Cape Town where he auditioned, bowling the judges over with his performance of Billionaire by Bruno Mars.

He is also the baby of his family and lives with his parents two older brothers and a sister.

“I plan to be a full-time musician and with the platform that Idols SA has given me, I will hopefully be able to take it far and get my name out there”.

Keegan Martin

Age: 23

Keegan Martin, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Keegan is from Gauteng and left his job as a senior insurance consultant at an insurance company to give Idols SA a try.

He lives with his parents and younger sister and plans to be involved in charity work while pursuing his music career.

The fourth time’s the charm for this young singer, the first three times he didn’t get far, finally trying his luck this season to rave reviews from the judges seeing him make the Top 16.

Lucia Jakeni

Age: 26

Lucia Jakeni, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Lucia is currently unemployed and plans to go back to school after Idols SA to study music and social services. Born in Everton North, Vereeniging, she lives with her dad, younger brother, and two sons.

When she entered Idols SA for the second time, she had one focus only – to pick the songs that would make her husky rough diamond voice shine brighter than any other on the show. So far, so good.

Lusanda Beja

Age: 25

Lusanda Beja, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Lusanda comes from a home full of women. He lives in Gugulethu, Cape Town, with his mother, grandmother, aunt, and two sisters.

He has just completed his national diploma in marketing management at MSC Business College.

After Idols SA, Lusanda would like to pursue music full-time. “I would like to host more music seminars, more gospel events and go into the business aspect of music because of the opportunity that Idols has presented to me”.

Nomalungelo Noxolo Khumalo

Age: 22

Nomalungelo Noxolo Khumalo, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Noma is a student teacher from Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal who lives with her parents and younger brother and hopes to land a recording deal.

In the meantime, she looks forward to completing her Bachelor of Education at UNISA.

She is basically a Grade 4-7 assistant teacher by day and vocalist in a band by night and is fast becoming the soul sister of the season with her heart-tugging song choices.

Nontobeko “Luke” Ntombela

Age: 27

Nontobeko Luke Ntombela, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Luke hails from Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal and lives with her pastor and his family.

She is a waitress at Primi Piatti and regardless of whether she wins or not, she hopes a producer will spot her talent and be able to help her become a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

Nosihe Zama Zulu

Age: 28

Nosihe Zama Zulu, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Nosihe quit her data capturing job to pursue music.

Now studying music at the University of Durban at the Howard Campus, she lives alone in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, and hopes Idols SA will catapult her future music career. “I plan to continue making and writing music and eventually release an album – and just be amazing”, she says.

Her performances have so far been dominated by contemporary strong female songs that have served her well.

She certainly made an indelible impression when she brought her young brother to the auditions.

Sanele Simphiwe Mkhize

Age: 21

Sanele Simphiwe Mkhize, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Sanele is from Ntumaza in KwaZulu-Natal and is studying Ecological Tourism at Durban University of Technology.

He lives with his mother, cousins, and aunts.

This year, he’s taken some time out of his studies to pursue his passion for music and to compete in Idols SA.

If he doesn’t reach the final, he plans on going back to school to study law and eventually start his own business.

During his audition, Somizi Mhlongo called him “refreshing” and Randall Abrahams said Robbie Malinga, whose song he sang, would love him.

Sgherdeed Ross

Age: 28

Sgherdeed Ross, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Sgherdeed has miraculously been able to fit her passion for music into her busy schedule and now that the Reiger Park, Boksburg, singer has made it on Idols SA, she plans to make the most of that.

“Whether or not I get far in the competition, I will pursue my music career because of the platform created for me”.

Thami Shobede

Age: 28

Thami Shobede, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Thami is from Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal lives on his own and is a full-time musician, actor, and presenter.

He will continue with his entertainment industry career regardless of the outcome of his Idols SA journey.

Siyakhanya Tshayela

Age: 23

Siyakhanya Tshayela, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Siyakha is the first of four siblings.

This full-time musician from Vosloorus in the East Rand hopes to open a musical organisation for upcoming musicians where she can give vocal lessons, and do the same for her church and former music school.

Tebogo Louw

Age: 24

Tebogo Louw, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Tebogo is from Stellenbosch, Western Cape, and lives with his mother and sister.

He is a full-time musician and hopes that he will land a recording deal from his experience on Idols SA.

Arguably the most watched and talked about returnee by the judges, he knows that he does not have an easy road ahead.

So far, his single-minded focus has seen him impress all around.

Terra Cox

Tersius Terra Cox, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Terra Cox is a part-time singer and songwriter who hails from Eden Park, Alberton in Gauteng.

He is 28 years old.

Thamsanqa Vuyo Thabile Mathonsi

Age: 20

Thamsanqa Vuyo Thabile Mathonisi, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Thamsanqa’s spur-of-the-moment decision to enter Idols SA turned out to be one of the best decisions he’s made yet.

This second-year music and drama student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal forgot his original audition song but he still managed to bag three yeses and a spot in the live shows.

He is also a rugby player.

Valentine Mathe

Age: 20

Valentine Mathe, Idols SA Season 12 Top 16 Contestant

Valentine hails from Mamelodi, outside Pretoria, and lives with her mother and older brother.

She is a full-time musician who wants to study journalism at a college after Idols SA.

Her infectious smile and love for life translate every time she takes to the stage to belt out a song.

Born on Valentine’s Day, she epitomizes love and happiness.


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