Idols SA Winners: Where Are They Now?

In this article we are going to look at all Idols SA winners from season 1 to date and where they are now.

Idols SA has so far had 18 winners in its seventeen seasons of existence since the very first season way back in 2002.

A few of the winners have been very successful with their music careers, some have been moderately successful in music, some have been successful in other fields other than music while some tried having music careers but eventually quit when things got tough and ended up with 9-to-5 jobs.

Now let’s dive in and look at each Idols SA winner’s life after the show, how their music careers turned out and where they are now.

Heinz Winckler

Heinz Winckler worshipping at LoveKey NPC ministries
Heinz Winckler worshipping at LoveKey NPC ministries.

Heinz Winckler won season 1 of Idols SA back in June of 2002 at the age of 24, he was a law student at Stellenbosch University at the time but after winning Idols SA, he discontinued his studies to devote time to a music career.

He released his debut CD single, “Once In A Lifetime” and it contained 2 songs, “Once in a Lifetime” and “Soledad”. Winckler would go on to perform his debut single “Once in a Lifetime” twice to a 500-strong live audience and millions of television viewers.

Having won a major recording contract with Sony BMG Records, Heinz released his debut album “One Step Closer” on Thursday 14 November 2002.

Winckler was included in the 2003 Cosmopolitan magazine’s Sexiest Men calendar.

Heinz then participated in the first ever World Idol which took place between December 2003 and January 2004 in London, the show was a one-off international version of the television show Pop Idol, featuring winners of the various national Idol shows around the world competing against each other. Heinz finished in fourth place, behind Belgium’s Peter Evrard (3rd), the US’s Kelly Clarkson (2nd), and Norway’s Kurt Nilsen (Winner).

Within one week of the World Idol show being aired, his debut CD single was unobtainable due to phenomenal sales. The CD went double platinum, making it an instant smash hit, with over 51,000 copies initially sold.

In 2003, Winckler was nominated for two SAMAs (South African Music Awards) for best single, “Once in a Lifetime” and best pop album, “One Step Closer”.

Walt Disney employed Winckler to perform one of the credit songs, “Chasing Shadows” for the movie “Treasure Planet”. The movie was a hit on the South African market, grossing over R3 million in the first weekend. 2004 saw Heinz break into the international market by performing and traveling to the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Canada.

As part of the 10-year celebrations of South Africa, he performed at UKkasie festival, held at the Royal Albert Hall, London and went on to take the lead role of Tony, in a community stage production of West Side Story, Toronto, Canada.

Winckler’s second album, “Come Alive” (produced by Marius Brouwer) was released via BMG Records in September of 2004. The first radio single off this pop album, “Can’t Lose With You” reached number 1 on multiple radio stations. The second single off the album was a track that was co-written by Heinz. “Drowning Me” performed well on national and regional stations. Both of these singles have been added to the very popular NOW compilation albums (38 and 39 respectively).

In April 2005, “Come Alive” was nominated for a South African Music Award (SAMAs) in the Best Pop Album category.

Heinz opened for Westlife on their Greatest Hits tour to South Africa in 2005. Accompanied by his 5-piece band, Heinz played the cities of Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg, playing to about 40,000 people. In Johannesburg alone the audience was 18,000 people strong.

Heinz released his third album, “Moment of Truth” on Friday 1 September 2006.

Heinz also cemented himself as an accomplished actor when he landed the coveted role of “Roger Davis” on the 2007-2008 North American and Japanese tour of the Broadway hit musical, RENT. “It was quite an adventure touring together on a bus for nine months. It was amazing,” Winckler said.

In 2009, he released his fourth studio album, “Ek Kan Weer In Liefde Glo”.

In 2011, he released his fifth album, “24/7/365”.

Heinz then released his sixth album, “’n Spesiale Aand Met Heinz Winckler” on Monday 4 November 2013. He then followed with his seventh album, “Jy’s Bonatuurlik” which was released on Friday 7 February 2014.

In 2016 he was cast in a lead role in Frans Cronje’s (Faith Like Potatoes) latest offering set for release in Sept 2017, entitled “The Roar” – a film about God’s purpose for your life.

Winckler released a single in August 2018 where he teamed up with two of his talented colleagues in the music business: Neville D (Dove Award winner and Grammy Nominee) and Loyiso Bala (SAMA winner, Metro FM Award winner, Director of TBN Africa) to bring the special song with a message of unity, “It’s Time”. The three singers teamed up to inspire South Africans to celebrate their and each others’ diversity in unity. The song was released to radio and digital platforms in August 2018 and the music video in September 2018.

He has been privileged to travel the world, including Mauritius, Italy and Nashville, with Hawaii and the Maldives still on his bucket list.

For his work in the entertainment industry over the years, Heinz has received 3 SAMA (South African Music Awards) nominations, 3 People Magazine Crystal Awards, 3 Ghoema (Afrikaans music) Award nominations, 4 Tempo Award nominations, winner of Bok Radio’s “Singer of the Year” award 2014.

Family, Christian Worship and Full-time Ministry:

Heinz Winckler married his wife, Aletté-Johanni Winckler (a speaker, writer, image consultant and CEO of The SA Image Academy) on Monday 25 September 2006. The couple spent a two week honeymoon on the Greek islands of Paros and Santorini.

They now have for children, 3 sons named Lian, Simeon and Reuben Winckler. They also have a daughter, Alannah Elize Winckler who was born in January 2020.

Heinz’s life took a turn at the end of 2013, he left his record label and started his “faith journey” with his family. In 2014 he relocated to Somerset West with his family, refurbished a house and made a move from commercial music to Christian contemporary music. Winckler said it wasn’t a quick or an easy decision, but he had different people in his life speak it into existence.

“Eight different people over four months said the exact the same thing independent of each other, and I had to pay attention.

“Some family, some friends, and some total strangers all said the same thing: ‘Heinz, I believe God is saying that you will have a ministry similar to that of Michael W Smith’.

“When I heard this, I didn’t think I would suddenly start playing the piano, but what I experienced was a firm conviction in my spirit that I would make Christian music that would inspire people and lead them closer to God, and that it will be for an international audience.

“I received the eighth word while in Israel, as a worship leader for a tour group. After speaking with my wife and praying together, it became clear that I needed to make a shift to Christian music.”

The following day he went to speak to his pastor, who encouraged him to talk to Daniel Ornellas, a musician and Bassist for South African band Tree63. Daniel is also a producer and now resides in Nashville, US.

Heinz stated: “I told my pastor that it was an excellent idea, but I barely had enough money to make an album in rands, let alone in dollars. But my pastor was adamant.”

He listened and had a Skype conversation with Daniel, who said his best deal would be $2000 a song.

“That turned out to be about R400,000 for ten songs. About double what it would cost to produce in South Africa. I had R100,000 from crowdfunding. We prayed, and we trusted. God miraculously provided the other R300,000 through unsuspecting ways. By being obedient in two other things I felt God lead me to do, he made way for two people to give R150,000 each towards the making of the album. It was unreal.” Heinz further stated.

Heinz released his first Christian Contemporary Worship album, “The Roar” in September 2016 with the first single “The Roar” having pre-released earlier that year at the International Christian Visual Media (ICVM) conference in Cincinnatti, OH. He co-wrote this inspiring track with Rain Collective writers Aaron Tomberlin and Rhyan Shirley. It’s a battle cry song inspired by Jesus’ last words on the cross, the Lion of Judah’s mighty roar that calls us to true freedom and purpose.

The record also features a new version of the huge worship hit, “Let It Rain”, which Heinz co-wrote with it’s original author, Michael Farren, and his producer, Daniel Ornellas. Winckler was inspired to write new verses for the popular song in the wake of devastating droughts in South Africa in support of the struggling farming community, while at the same time addressing the spiritual drought in the nation.

Since the release of “The Roar” album, Winckler has been focusing on ministering in churches, at men’s events, hosting marriage seminars with his wife (Aletté), all with the main aim of seeing lost people saved, saved people healed and healed people discover and step into their callings. His testimony about how the album “The Roar” came about, is incredible and serves as an inspiration to have faith and obey God no matter what the circumstance.

At the beginning of 2019, Winckler officially registered his ministry as LoveKey NPC and on top of leading worship and ministering at churches and Christian events, he is actively creating more opportunities to reach families through the LoveKey Weekend of Inspiration concept. LoveKey teams up with a local church and school, and hosts 4 events over a weekend with the idea of impacting a community by reaching out to the families that make up that community.

He then began working on his sophomore Christian contemporary album and confessed his excitement about it. “I am once again going to work with Daniel Ornellas who produced my first Christian album, The Roar, and also the single I did with Loyiso Bala and Neville D last year, It’s Time.”

In 2019, he started raising funds to produce this new album through a crowdfunding campaign with hope to get the whole project funded and launch the album before the end of the same year.

These days Heinz Winckler is a singer, songwriter, worshipper, preacher and encourager.

His latest single is titled “Our Nation” and he features Worship House, an amazing gospel choir from Limpopo, South Africa.

Anke Pietrangeli

Anke Pietrangeli these days
Anke Pietrangeli pictured a few years back, she’s now a much grown up lady.

Anke Pietrangeli won season 2 of Idols SA back in October of 2003 at the age of 20, she was a second year student at Central University of Technology, Free State, studying sport management and medicine at the time of her victory.

Following her Idols SA victory, Anke pursued a music career that saw her release her debut album titled “By Heart” in March of 2004, this album was made up of 13 songs.

In July of 2006, her Sophomore album titled “Limbo” was released on the Sony/BMG label, it was recorded in both Afrikaans and English and it contained 16 songs.

In November of 2008, Anke released her third music album, “Tribute To The Great Female Vocalists” and it is made up of 20 songs.

But being in the entertainment industry at such a young age had its effects on Anke as she ended up making a series of some poor decisions.

“I was a student in my first or second year, and going from being an average university student to being in the public eye was an adjustment. You’re not a normal person anymore, everybody knows your name, and how you look. It was quite hectic for me, everything changed, and it was hard. I like my privacy, and I was young, inexperienced, and I wasn’t very mature at that age. I didn’t know what life had in store for me,” she said.

With the knowledge she has now, Anke says that the entertainment business is ruthless, “It can rip you apart, and when you do something wrong, then it’s all over the news. The negative publicity and comments not only hurt you as a musician but as a person,” she further stated.

It was at that moment when Anke decided to take a break from the spotlight and focus on getting her feet back firmly on the ground, she however admits that it might not have been the best decision, as she has experienced first-hand how difficult it is to make a triumphant return to the limelight.

“The public thought that I stopped singing, which I didn’t and I think it damaged my reputation. But at that stage of my life, it was what I needed,” she said.

Despite taking a break from the constant public scrutiny, Anke never stopped making music, these days she performs with a Cape Town based band called “Late Final”. The band performs at corporate events, weddings and functions. Anke still does solo gigs, but most of her gigs are with the band.

Away from the music, Anke is living a quiet life with her husband in Cape Town. Anke’s husband is also musical, he plays the guitar and sings a bit. The couple welcomed their first child together, a daughter born at the start of April 2019.

Pietrangeli plans to focus on her solo career again when her daughter is older.

Karin Kortje

Karin Kortje who hails from Grabouw in the Western Cape won season 3 of Idols SA back in December of 2005, she was 25 years old. She was also the first black performer ever to win Idols SA.

Karin was an apple packer on farm in the orchards of Grabouw, near Cape Town and lead singer of the Elginaires when she won Idols SA. She was earning R358 a month from the farm, just enough to buy food and pay a little rent to her family.

Karin left Cape Town and moved to Johannesburg immediately after winning Idols SA, she recorded her debut album, “Forever and The Day” and released it in November of The album received positive reviews from critics and exceeded sales – reaching Gold Status in South Africa selling just over 20,000 copies. Singles and mini-albums kept Karin on the charts, and she was a media darling.

“I was relieved because my financial position changed – from earning R385 a month I earned thousands – and I could give my son a better life, but I was really sad to leave my friends and family who are still at the apple factory in the Overberg, where I worked. I rarely get back there now because of the pressures of my career,” Karin stated.

Karin started making a name for herself in the entertainment industry and was rewarded with applause, fame, magazine covers, money, wining and dining that come with winning Idols SA but her fairytale abruptly ended in July of 2006.

Karin and her then boyfriend, 21-year-old Cheslyn Williams, booked into a Durbanville guest because she had a singing gig nearby on Thursday 13 July 2006, when she returned late that evening after singing at the gig, she found the owner of the guesthouse, Renata Kellerman, stabbed to death in a bedroom.

Karin’s boyfriend was arrested and charged for the murder, he appeared before Magistrate DF Tonisi in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court where he was was tried for murder and armed robbery. In 2009, Cheslyn Williams was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, and an additional five years for theft and eight years for attempted rape, he later died of leukemia in May of 2015 while still incarcerated.

The saga shrouded Karin’s career in controversy, she was dropped by several sponsors, endorsement deals fell through, and she struggled to recover from the bad publicity.

During Cheslyn Williams’s murder trial, Karin had met Shaundore Aspeling, a married man. After his divorce they got married in Grabouw and later had three children but just as Cheslyn betrayed her, Shaundore also betrayed Karin. One day he simply disappeared. Karin announced her divorce from Shaundore Aspeling in July of 2016, she was a mother of four children at the time.

In 2011, Karin starred in the musical, This Is My Life; her story unfolded at the KKNK.

On Tuesday 12 November 2013, Karin had charges of driving under the influence of alcohol withdrawn against her. She had last appeared in court in April of 2013.

Kortje had been arrested on Friday, July 8 2011 in front of a police station in Van Riebeeck Road after officers noticed her allegedly driving erratically and recklessly.

The Kuils River Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town withdrew the case after refusing another postponement, said Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazila.

“The reason the matter couldn’t go ahead is that blood results are not back yet,” he stated.

Idols SA celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2014, former Idols were asked to come back onto the show to share in its huge success but Karin wasn’t among them. She is the only winner of Idols SA who has been expunged from all the records online. Idols SA has somehow always pretended that Karin doesn’t exist because of her boyfriend who turned out to be a murderer.

In late 2014 during the 16 Days of Activism that focused on violence against women and children, Karin hosted a very special concert. She was making a comeback and telling her story. The core of her story was; How a woman who sings like an angel can rocket to stardom, then fall from grace and climb back again using the power of her voice and the support of her family and community.

In May 2015, Karin Kortje was Idol of Note in SABC 3 documentary, VIA – Vision In Africa Striking A Chord mini-series. Docuville, the documentary slot on SABC 3, began a mini-series to look through the lives of iconic South Africans. Four one-hour episodes were released, the second in the series was “Karin Kortje, Idol Of Note – A Farmworker’s Rise & Fall & Rise Again” and it aired on Sunday 10 May 2015 at 19:30. The series was directed by Sylvia Vollenhoven, Basil Appollis and Eugene Paramoer. Jacky Lourens was the Producer. It included the stories of playwright Athol Fugard, singer Emo Adams as well as Choreographers cum Dance Pioneers John Linden and Alfred Hinkel.

Kortje was supported by celebrity friends to celebrate her 10th anniversary of winning Idols SA in 2015.

On 22 July 2016, Karin Kortje made a comeback on television, she was part of the premiere of SABC 2’s music and variety game show, Musiek Roulette. The show premiered at 20:00 and Karin was one of the three headline guests.

In November 2016, Kortje opened up for the first time about the tragedy that happened way back in 2006 in Durbanville. She revealed that having a convicted killer as an ex-boyfriend had badly affected her singing career. She poured her heart out after apparently having a dream, Karin who was 36 years old at the time, took to Facebook where she spoke about her anguish after her ex-boyfriend, Cheslyn Williams was found guilty of murdering Renata Kellerman, a guesthouse owner. she posted: “I dreamt myself and my soon-to-be ex-husband, Shaundore, was invited to a social gathering at a friend’s house.”

“While the two of them chatted with two white couples, one of the men suggested they confess their ‘most dangerous and emotional experiences’. She agreed, but the dream soon turned into a nightmare as the man seemed uninterested in hearing her side of the story of the night Renate was killed.”

Karin said: “I will never get over that fatal night. I will never get over the fact that a part of me died with Renate Kellerman. NEVER EVER! (sic)”

“I couldn’t and still don’t understand why it all happened and I realized that I will pay for it for the rest of my life. Knowing so many has closed their hearts and turned their backs. And they know who they are.”

To this day, Karin was still haunted by Renata Kellerman’s murder, stabbed to death by the man she loved. She always had a great need to apologize to Renata’s husband Wynand and to his family. But for years she just couldn’t.

The ‘I’m So Ready’ singer then explained how she lived in fear of bumping into Renate’s family.

In response to Facebook user Diane Acton, she wrote: “I flew to Johannesburg a few years back to personally meet up with the family of Renate Kellerman to go and beg for their forgiveness, to sit in one room with the family and seeing those children for the first time after that fatal night.

“Having their blessing is such an amazing feeling. Because I used to beat myself up over the fact that I might run into them one day and then what do I say.”

She ended her Facebook post by saying: “As much as I have (found) peace, I’m struggling as an artist to make it… and I know 90% of the reason is because of what happened… I will not give up on my dream to one day become the success story so many Karins out there long for.”

In September of 2017, Karin created The Overberg’s Got Talent competition, with the aim of unearthing talent in her hometown of Grabouw. She was trying to rebuild her career while giving back to her community.

The competition ran in schools in Grabouw, Villiersdorp, Caledon and Hawston.

“The idea started three years ago, on a small scale. It was my 10-year anniversary since winning Idols SA.

“I wanted to celebrate that with my friends and colleagues,” she said.

“So I organized the show over two nights. I said ‘I would really want to put a center for the youth in the community, and I know that would make a huge difference because I am from the community and I know the challenges.

“Only now, 10 years later, could I really fulfill that dream.”

“My heart fills up with pride when I see all the talent that exists in South Africa,” Kortje said.

“We have had so many children from the Overberg region enter this competition, with no formal musical training or vocal lessons.

“And when they audition, they exude so much talent, which reminds me why it’s necessary to give back to my community. My aim is to give them a platform to share their talent with top local stars, and learn from these musicians to forge their own careers.”

Grade 12 pupil Marcellino Swartz won the competition and performed alongside Karin Kortje, as well as The Voice SA Season Two winner Craig Lucas, former Idols SA contestant Terra Cox, The Voice SA’s Robin Pieters, Salome Damon Johansen, Rhema Verrie and former Idols SA runner-up Thami Shodebe, at Karin Kortje Presents: Night With The Stars on Friday 15 September 2017.

On Sunday 17 February 2019, Karin Kortje performed at the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in its 2019 Community Gala concert at Artscape Opera. She was on the line-up alongside fabulous local talented artists like Yanga Sobetwa (Idols SA season 14 winner), Thato Makape (Idols SA season 14 runner-up), as well as Jazzart, CPYO musicians Jordan Brooks and Sunday Kelechi, the Township Opera Company, Camillo Lombard, Don Vino, Anneli Kamfer, Elizabeth Catharina and wheelchair dancers Andile Ndabeni and Cheronia Fortuin.

In April 2020, Karin Kortje cut off her hair because she had struggled with hair loss.

After the big shave, Kortje posted on her Facebook page saying: “They say change is good… Well I have decided to go bold, again. Been struggling to grow my hair for almost 4 years.. Ever since my dear friend Leony died. I would always joke about it or refer to it as my hair died with my hairdresser but inside, I was not happy. A woman’s hair is her pride and joy and not being able express that I felt so incomplete. Embarrassed at some stages and angry at my creator for this misfortune but no more. I feel relief and free!”

She went further on her post saying: “{I} want to encourage those facing the same problem to stand bold and be proud of who you are. We are all beautifully made. Hair does not define me anymore…”

A lot of her fans praised her for this move saying one should not let their insecurities define them.

After she went to Facebook to show off her new look her fans commented saying “I simply love you for being who you are,” posted Levona Jason.

Shirnelle Power posted: “There is beauty in letting go and you look beautiful. They say a woman that cuts her hair is about to change her life.”

Leone Martin posted: “You are not your hair. Love the look.”

In another post, Korje said: ……”So let’s take hands and fight for the right.. Fight for the one’s who has no voice.. Fight for the souls of the one’s who always curse and stand in judgement of others.. Let us focus on the good and build a community that loves and respect each other… So that our kids can start seeing the role models in us, that we desire for them to be..”

Karin has performed in Australia, won a Kanna nomination, produced more albums, and tried to remain the darling of the media, print, radio, and TV.

She currently lives in Cape Town with her family which includes her four children.

Jody Williams

Jody Williams now

Jody Williams won Idols SA season 4 way back in December of 2007, she was 17 years old at the time and was in Grade 11, which made her the youngest winner of the competition until 2017 when Paxton Fielies won the Competition at age 17.

After Jody’s victory on Idols, Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille said:

“Idols winner Jody Williams deserves special congratulations on her achievement of becoming South Africa’s youngest idol. We know that she will continue to inspire the youth of today. To her parents we can only say, well done for raising such a beautiful, talented child. South Africa certainly needs more young role models like her. The ID will give her all the support she needs.”

Jody was complimented by Celine Dion, who told her, “Good luck for the future. I wish you all the best. You’ll get there”. Jody was the opening act for Celine Dion in some of Dion’s first 9 shows in South Africa and the first overall leg of Dion’s “Taking Chances Tour”, which began on Thursday 14 February 2008. The Cape Town native performed a few songs that included “Wind It” at the grand finale of Idols SA season 5 in 2009, she then released her debut platinum-selling album, “Just Gonna Be Me” whilst still at Bosmansdam High School, in the Milnerton suburb of Cape Town.

Her debut album reached Number 1 on the South African Albums Chart, and spawned three consecutive number one singles on the South African Airplay Chart: “Love Is All Around”, “Kiss of Life”, “Wind It”, and “Love Like This Before”.

By March 2009, Jody Williams was doing really well from record sales and performances that she was able to buy her parents a luxurious house. She moved her family from Milnerton to a house in picturesque Durbanville rumoured to have cost her more than R1,000,000. Though Williams and her manager, who only revealed her first name, Esme, did not discuss the price of the family’s new home, Idols SA judge, Randall Abrahams told TimesLIVE newspaper on Monday 2 March 2009 that Jody was “doing really well”.

Jody’s CD earned her over R3,400,000 and many people downloaded her single, “Kiss of Life”. She has also received a lot of airplay on radio stations. M-Net’s head of local productions, Helen Smit, said: “Jody has done really well as an Idol. Her CD sales have shot up, her schoolwork progress is very satisfactory, and she even managed to buy her parents a house.”

During season 5 of Idols SA in 2009, Williams revealed that she was supporting Daniel Baron and Sasha Lee Davids because she believed they were the most talented.

Jody was in Grade 11 when she won Idols South Africa and did not give up her studies. Despite her success, she achieved a 75 percent average for four of her matric subjects in 2008. Williams revealed that she was studying business economics, economics, and tourism as her final matric subjects in 2009.

“I just started school this week and am working on my driver’s license while still performing at several events,” she said. “I attend school after hours, with private lessons from my old teachers.”

Jody wrote exams with the rest of her classmates, and her manager scheduled her work according to her school timetable. She graduated at the end of 2009.

She represented the continent of Africa on the song “Everyone”, the Official theme Song of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Jody collaborated with four other artists, American Sean Kingston (Americas), Singaporean Tabitha Nauser (Asia), British Steve Appleton (Europe), and Australian Jessica Mauboy (Oceania).

Elements of Pop, R&B, dance, and soul can be found in her music. Jody has cited singers Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston as her main musical inspirations and influences.

In a January 2013 interview, Jody revealed that she was doing a year course in Psychology. “Now people sometimes ask me, why Psychology? Well, I love helping people and listening to their problems. It’s always been a subject of interest to me, as to how the human mind works,” she spoke about the course.

She released a single in 2013 titled “Cosmic Coincidence” which is her first single to be available to buy on iTunes. Two years earlier she released a Christmas single titled “This Christmas” written with the help of her sister, Candice.

In June of 2019, Williams had an interview with Daily Voice in which she revealed that Idols SA ruined her life and made her quit show business. Jody revealed that not only did winning the show in 2007 cause a massive rift in her family, but people who managed her career at the time also ripped her off big time so much so that she stopped singing five years later, instead getting a job as a receptionist “and I’ve never been happier”.

Instead of conquering the world with her one-of-a-kind voice, Jody revealed that her career turned into an out-of-control roller coaster ride of emotions that led to her spending cash like water and constant conflict in her family.

“Idols showed me the world, with the traveling overseas and meeting international artists. I just saw the money and a good life, but that was just the child in me,” Jody told the Daily Voice.

“If only we had a life coach and financial advisor back when I won Idols, I think things would have been so much different.

“My father started getting uncomfortable with the people who managed me because things started looking off because I was being conned by the agents who managed me.

“My father left his job to be my full-time manager, but we were at loggerheads a lot at times. And because he was my manager, it affected our relationship at home.”

Jody had bought her parents a house in Durbanville way back in 2009, but a mere four years later, she had trouble keeping up with the bond repayments.

“The gigs were drying up, the money was getting little, you know how it goes when a new Idols winner comes along, people stop booking the old Idols,” she stated.

Jody said she wanted to sell the house, but her parents refused.

“My parents were worried about what people would say if we lost the house. My father would call around for gigs, so I could be able to pay the bond for that month.

“I was crying and worrying so much. I told them I didn’t care what the people thought of me, why must I put myself in skuld to keep a face?”

She started doing gigs that she didn’t really want to.

“I did the show This is My Life with Karin Kortje. I’m not the type who can go on stage and act, but I had to do it just so we could have money to pay the bond. I didn’t want to do music anymore, I wanted to have a normal life and normal job.”

She said they eventually sold the house, and then she started working as a receptionist.

“People were shocked to see my CV in their inboxes when I applied for work,” she says.

“I am so happy with what I am doing. Music ruined me as a young adult and I was yearning for stability. I spoke to my family and told them I didn’t want to do music anymore. I now do it as a hobby, but I don’t want to sing for a living again.”

These days Jody Williams lives with her boyfriend Nicholas Ferreira and his family in Milnerton. The couple welcomed a daughter in March 2019 and named her Dakota.

Jason Hartman

Jason Hartman now

Jason Hartman co-won Idols SA season 5 with Sasha-Lee Davids way back in May of 2009, he was 30 years old at the time. Jason was the first Idols SA winner who was a full-time musician before he won Idols SA.

The title of winner of Idols SA season 5 was shared between two gifted singers, the first time in the history of the competition that the accolade has been given to two people. His co-winner, Sasha-Lee joined him on a track on his debut album, “On The Run” which was released in October of 2009.

After the matter of the votes was resolved, a number of newspapers and magazines twisted Jason’s comments, making the public believe that he wanted Sasha-Lee Davids to give up her prizes and title of co-winner. Jason stated he meant nothing of the sort and that everybody was twisting his own words. Despite this he and Sasha-Lee are still good friends. In mid-May 2009 rumors began to circulate that Jason would not sign his recording deal unless his former band were signed as well.

However, this was not true with Jason saying: “What a load of crap. I’m performing with my band in the meantime and will sign my deal. I don’t know where people get this from.”

Towards the end of May 2009, Weekend Argus reported that Jason Hartman had also found love on Idols SA, it was said that Hartman dumped his girlfriend of six years, Sarah Wetton, for fellow Idols SA contestant, Lizé Heerman, who is from Durban. Heerman was the third contestant to be voted off the top 10.

Sources told the paper that the two new lovebirds had gone out partying during the competition and that at Cosmopolitan’s 25th birthday party, on Wednesday 25 March 2009 at Taboo in Sandton, Jason and Lizé could not keep their hands off each other.

Jason’s ex-girlfriend, Sarah, spoke to Weekend Argus, saying she had not expected their relationship to end, as they had spoken of marriage a few times. Although she was not willing to talk about their relationship, Weton said she loved Hartman “with all her heart but it’s over now”.

“He has to focus on what he is doing. I’m trying to put it all behind me.”

She last spoke to him three weeks ago but admitted the last few weeks had been a “rollercoaster ride” for a lot of people.

She was also “very surprised” Jason was seeing other people. Wetton has known Hartman since they were three or four years old, as they lived next to each other and grew up together.

She dismissed rumours she was depressed after the breakup and was getting medical attention, saying she worked as an occupational therapist at a hospital.

“He is an amazing person but maybe it’s best for him to be single so he can focus on his music.”

When contacted for comment, Jason didn’t confirm nor deny that he had dumped Sarah Wetton for fellow Idols SA contestant, Lizé Heerman.

On Saturday 30 May 2009, Jason Hartman and Idols SA co-winner Sasha-Lee Davids, opened for the multi-Emmy Award winner and Improv King, Wayne Brady, with his Las Vegas dancers for his hit live show “Making it Up” in Cape Town at Grandwest’s Grand Arena during his South African tour from 30 May to 7 June 2009. The show was presented by M-Net & HuntaLive.

Jason was given the Freedom of Howick alongside fellow Idols SA contestant, Pixie Bennett in May 2009. The only other person to have been given this prestigious honour was Nelson Mandela many years previously.

Jason’s single, “Break The Silence” was met with favourable reviews and it entered South Africa’s newly created chart the Nokia Top 40 SA, reaching number 1 by Saturday 13 June 2009. Jason’s debut studio album “On The Run” was released by Sony Music in October 2009, the predominantly self-penned album has been his biggest dream to date. The single “On The Run” went to Number 1 on Radio Stations and was rated at Number 28 in the overall 5FM 2009 singles. “Break The Silence” was number 22 on 94.7 for 2009 and the third single, “Chasing Stars”, also climbed well up the charts and enjoyed airplay on all radio stations throughout South Africa.

During an interview with Exclusive Books, Jason spoke about his debut album saying;

“On the Run, is a very raw album. It’s not perfect in any way. It’s honest. It’s banged out very quickly. Most of the songs are originals – ten songs are originals, and three aren’t. One of them is ‘Hotel California’ because we wanted to have fun with it. The other two are published songs, ‘Collide’ and ‘Break the Silence’, which was the winning song of Idols, which I had to sing,” he stated.

Jason was intent on creating his own image, not necessarily that of an Idol but rather that of a respected musician with a top-class band. He has huge respect for the Idols competition and stated many times, that he was grateful for the exposure he received, giving him the platform he needed to further his career. To have achieved this on his own would have been extremely difficult in today`s music industry, he acknowledges.

Jason also spoke about the mandatory record deal that he had to sign as part of the prize of winning Idols SA:

“I didn’t want to win Idols as I didn’t want to get tied down to a contract that I didn’t want to be in. But I was tied to a contract that is working for me, and they’re working for me, and I’m working for them, and it’s become a really good partnership. I believe that, and hopefully it’ll stay that way, so that we can actually create what we want to create and really make a difference to the industry,” he said.

Since his joint Idols SA victory, Jason has performed continuously to audiences all over South Africa. His band consists of his brother Scott on drums and vocals and his father, Sam on guitar and vocals, as well as bass player Quinton. The quality of Jason and his band’s live performance is so highly acclaimed that in March 2010, they were the opening act for American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson on her world tour which included South Africa. They played to thousands of fans in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

In 2011, Jason Hartman was personally invited by the Prince and Princess of Monaco to partake in their wedding festivities. He was asked to write and sing a song for the first dance at Prince Albert II and South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock’s wedding. Hartman and his band performed at the gala dinner at the Monaco Opera House on 30 June 2011, the Royal family of Monaco as well as many international celebrities and dignitaries attended the occasion.

“I am incredibly honoured to have been invited not only to sing at the wedding, but to write a song for the Prince and Princess of Monaco’s first dance,” said Hartman who was 31 years old at the time. Jason was first introduced to Wittstock through her swimming coach in 2009.

Hartman and his band’s visit to Monaco also included performing two shows at the Monaco Grand Prix and opening for The Eagles on 30 June 2011 at the Monaco Soccer Stadium, both performances earned them a standing ovation from 40,000 people and celebrity status in that country. He also performed for the South African Day at the Monaco Tennis Championships.

Jason`s first movie soundtrack, “I’m Alive”, co-written by Marius Brower and Sir Tim Rice, is one of the soundtracks of the animated movie “Jock” (Jock of the Bushveld), released in August 2011. It is the first 3D movie to be created in South Africa.

Hartman made his acting debut, playing a lead role in “A Million Colours”, a South African/ Canadian production, the follow-up to the 1970”s “e’Lollipop” movie. The movie was filmed mainly in Johannesburg in 2010 and is based on the true story of the lives of the two previous stars of e’Lollipop and how “life unfolded” for them after their climb to fame. Initially skeptical about his acting abilities, Jason joined the cast as the lead role, embracing the new experience. The film, produced by Andre Pieterse of Ma Africa Productions and directed by Peter Bishau from Canada, was released in September 2011 at Toronto Film Festival. In October 2011, “A Million Colours” was chosen to open the Hollywood Black Film Festival in Los Angeles. Jason and Wandile Molabatsi, alongside Muntu Ndebele (whose true life story was depicted in the movie) walked the red carpet as actors for the first foreign film chosen to open The Hollywood Black Film Festival. The Movie opened in South Africa on 26 April 2012.

Jason started Conservation Guardians, an initiative to assist against poaching, in particular Rhino Poaching as well as other environmental issues in Southern Africa, in 2011.

In April 2012, he spearheaded a fundraiser in Monaco where €80,000 was raised for Conservation Guardians at an exclusive benefit event held at the Monaco Yacht Club. Hartman, a board member and trustee of Conservation Guardians, spearheaded the fundraiser and awareness drive for the trust that houses a number of NGOs including the International Anti-Poaching Foundation and Jason’s own charity, Men Of Trees.

“We are incredibly honoured that people in Europe are so willing to assist us in South Africa – they have been undeniably an incredible support. We have a lot to do to get things off the ground and to get the benefits straight down to grassroots level,” said Hartman. “We flew over with the aim of raising a substantial amount of money and awareness for Conservation Guardians and the response was so great that we are already in the planning phases of a second benefit later this year,” Hartman said.

Jason created the ‘Rock n Ride 4 Rhino’ initiative, a 10,000 km motorcycle journey across Southern Africa from April to September 2013 in the name of anti-poaching fundraising and awareness. The ‘Rock n Ride 4 Rhino’ tour included numerous school presentations, mass rides, community outreach, conservation activities, gigs, gala dinners and concerts and accompanied the lauch of Jason’s album ‘All or Nothing’.

Although there are so many various environmental problems to deal with daily in South Africa, Jason has remained focused on poaching and food growing and addressing poverty. His charity, Men Of Trees, an international organization, teaches disadvantaged communities how to grow sustainable green gardens and planting trees. He was also involved with environmental projects before his Idols SA journey. Hartman is also very involved with raising funds and he has always continued to drive these issues and make the public aware of the problems that we face as people. He believes that it is our world and it is extremely important that we nurture it and leave something good for future generations.

Other than music and his green ventures, Jason really enjoys riding his motorbike because being trapped in his car doesn’t make sense to him. He also keeps bees, he has a few hives he looks after, which he says is like his little way of communicating with nature because bees are really sensitive creatures, and they tell him when the seasons are changing. They also tell him when there’s an environmental problem, like if they’re not making honey, for instance, he’ll start to look at certain things.

Jason also does bonsai trees, he’s been involved with bonsai since he was ten years old, he’s got some amazing trees some of which are over 200 years old.

He also does veggie gardens at home, Hartman has stated in the past that he really enjoys making an omlette out of his own green peppers and tomatoes and eggs, he also rears some chickens. He says he feels empowered when he grows his own food, “I feel like I’m living my life, I’m actually feeding myself. It’s a really great feeling, and I think that people should try and get back into that culture. 100 years ago, it would’ve been unusual for people to not have a veggie garden. Now, it’s exactly the opposite.”

Jason also reads quite a lot, he draws, paints and does sketchs too. He also loves fishing and he takes any chance he gets to throw a line with his family. Jason also goes camping and spends time in the Berg. He is really interested in survival techniques, learning about indigenous foods and herbs, and occasional hunting. “It’s a primal thing, although I don’t like to kill anything actually. I can’t even kill a mosquito half the time! But, if I’m going to hunt, I do it for food and I use the skins – I do leatherwork… And carpentry! I’ve got many interests! I like natural stuff, you know,” Jason stated during an interview with Exclusive Books

The Kwa-Zulu Natal native describes himself, with a grin, as “just an authentic, down–to–earth guy who happens to be a muso!” Backed by his team and stalwart family and armed with his guitar, Jason continues to hold his head up high as a major force in the South African music industry, and quite possibly internationally too.

To date, his band remains the same and involves Scott Hartman (brother) on drums and vocals, Sam Hartman (father) on guitar, Quinton Askes on Bass, and Jason on Vocals and lead guitar. His Godfather, Sez Amamson, a renowned musician in his own right, plays with the band for large functions and is featured on the new album, on pedal steel guitar.

Sasha-Lee Davids

Sasha-Lee Davids now

Sasha-Lee Davids co-won Idols SA season 5 with Jason Hartman way back in May of 2009, she was 18 years old at the time.

Sasha-Lee Davids was originally declared the sole winner after singing the winner’s song “True Believer”. But apparently, there had been a mix-up with late votes arriving after the cutoff time on the night of the grand finale. The SMS messages had been sent before the cutoff time but were only received after the deadline. M-Net made the public aware of the matter within a day and assured everyone that a recount of the votes would be done as soon as possible.

The recount showed that Jason Hartman, the then runner-up was actually the winner, with 1.3 million votes, or 54% of the total. Sasha-Lee had come second, with 1.1 million votes, or 46%. M-Net decided however that “200,000 votes are not significant enough, and the results so close, the only fair thing to do under the circumstances is to declare a tie”.

On Saturday 30 May 2009, Sasha-Lee Davids and Idols SA co-winner, Jason Hartman, opened for multi-Emmy Award winner and Improv King, Wayne Brady, with his Las Vegas dancers for his hit live show “Making it Up” in Cape Town at Grandwest’s Grand Arena during his South African tour from 30 May to 7 June 2009.

Davids released her debut album, “Sasha-Lee” in 2009. She was then invited to record music in the United States of America where she had the opportunity to work with Jamie Jones, lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning group, All-4-One, on a track titled, “Before You”. Sasha-Lee then traveled to the United Kingdom where she stayed for a few months, shortly before her 21st birthday, she returned back to South Africa and was overjoyed to be with her family once again.

Following a two-year absence from the public eye, Sasha-Lee returned into the limelight with a reality TV show called “House of Davids” (also known as Huis van Davids). It showcased the lives of the Davids family of singers and their involvement in the community of Atlantis, Western Cape. Sasha and her nine siblings and their parents, Joe and Sally who are ministers in the church featured in the show. The show, premiered on Kyknet, also aired on Mzansi Magic and was produced by an international production company. The show ran successfully for a year between 2011 and 2012.

On Friday 24 July 2015, Sasha-Lee performed on the SABC2 music games show, Musiek Roulette.

On Saturday 29 October 2016, Sasha-Lee performed at the Taliep Petersen Tribute (10th Anniversary).

In 2017, Sasha-Lee featured in her own show, “Breaking Free” (to sold-out audiences with standing ovations) at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town and GrandWest Arena. The show featured; James Bhemgee, Edith Plaatjies, Nur Abrahams, Terri Davids, Letitia Davids and supported by an 8-piece band headed by the talented Don Vino Prins. Alistair Izobell and Don Vino Prins were responsible for the music direction, while Alistair also produced the show.

Later that year, Sasha-Lee performed in the world-class opening celebration of Sun International’s Time Square Arena – The Unison Celebration alongside South Africa’s leading stars Yvonne Chaka, Lira, Vusi Nova, Claire Johnston, Ladysmith Black Mambaso, Karen Zoid, Zonke, Lady Zamar and more.

In 2018, she was added on the line-up of presenters of SABC2’s Afrikaans lifestyle magazine show, Pasella for it’s 27th season.

Sasha-Lee spoke about getting the Pasela gig: “Pasella headhunted me to audition, but I was on my way to the States at the time. They sent me a line and asked that I do a video for them.”

Despite her weak Afrikaans, Sasha-Lee made the cut and had to start immediately. She admitted to have fallen in love with presenting, adding while she’d like to explore more such opportunities, her first love will always be music.

In 2018, Sasha-Lee was on the cover of Kuier Magazine for its February issue.

In 2019, Sasha-Lee collaborated on song, “Africa Arise”, with American R&B boy group, All-4-One. The Atlantis meisie says she jumped at the chance when Alistair Izobell presented her the opportunity to perform a song he wrote. In August 2018, Sasha-Lee went to Los Angeles and met up with Jamie Jones, the group’s producer, to record “Africa Arise”.

Sasha-Lee sid: “This song has an inspirational kick to it, and speaks about how people shouldn’t focus on the negative too much but look at the positive also happening in Africa.

“I’m excited to be collaborating with them on this song as they are an amazing group. I’ve known Jamie since Idols SA and Alistair connected with them since 10 years ago when they performed in SA.”

She said of the collaboration with All-4-One, which brought love hits as I Swear, I Can Love You Like That and These Arms: “I’m nogal nervous to be singing with them. The rehearsals will start in March before the launch of our song.”

The official song launch took place on Saturday 30 March 2019 at GrandWest at Alistair Izobell’s Music Alla Kaap show, which saw All 4 One and Sasha-Lee perform the song live in front of a sold-out audience.

In June of 2019, Sasha-Lee Davids received a “City of Cape Town Ward 29” award, for “Best Cultural Contribution” of 2018.

On Thursday 20 June 2019, Sasha and All-4-One performed their collaboration “Africa Arise” on TV show, Maak My Famous. The show aired on kykNET at 20:00.

After being absent in the music scene for some years, Sasha-Lee made a comeback to music and dropped her single, “A Little Love”, on Friday 22 January 2021. She said her single was inspired by her life.

Sasha-Lee said: “I wrote the song years ago and was inspired by my own life and journey at the time. I was trying to inspire myself to live my life with a little more love in every way I could. I was in a place where I discovered myself through the process of writing and making music and it led me to write this song.”

She recorded the track at the home studio of her brother, Laurenzo Davids, and has surrounded herself with a new creative team – Edward George King and her manager, Alistair Izobell (a gifted and celebrated industry veteran) – with whom she feels “inspired to work with”.

On Saturday 27 February 2021, Sasha-Lee hosted her very first online concert. The concert was called “Sasha-Lee Davids Live”.

The concert went out on a live stream and featured all the bells and whistles of a live concert – full band, backing vocals and guest artists, the show featured covers as well as new, original material, written by Davids.

Speaking about the show, Sasha-Lee said she did an online show because it was a new norm for artists.

“I’ve never been the kind of artist to follow new trends immediately because I need to know it is in line with my vision board. I have to do online shows now because that is the reality of what we are facing as artists and creatives. But if you have followed my career and the productions that I have done, you will know that a performance is always an incredibly personal experience,” said Sasha.

The Atlantis native has released a couple of singles since her Idols SA victory, below are some of them;

  • True Believer (released in 2009)
  • Girl Behind The Wall (released in 2014 )
  • I cry (released in 2015 )
  • Forever yours (released in 2017 )
  • Free falling (released in 2018 )
  • Africa Arise featuring All 4 One (released in 2019 )
  • A Little One (released in 2021 )

Sasha-Lee is currently a recording artist, Songwriter, ambassador for “Out of Africa Kids foundation” and “MOT youth league”. She is single (not dating any one) as of July 2021.

This phenomenally talented musician has spent the past few years performing in a variety of shows including Divas, Duets, Kaapse Jol and many tours throughout South Africa.

Sasha-Lee is on an exciting journey as her audience rediscovers this powerhouse vocalist. She is currently in the studio creating her own original sound and is looking forward to releasing more musical projects in 2021. The sky is the limit for Sasha Lee right now, and exciting projects lay on the horizon.

NOTE: It takes a lot of time to do research on all the winners of Idols SA and find out where they are now, therefore this article only contains information on only the first six winners, but we are still working hard and doing more detailed research on the other past winners, therefore this article will be updated with more winners and where they are now. So we kindly ask you to get time and revisit this article for upcoming updates.


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1 Response

  1. Shaquita Kosmatka says:

    The main thing when posting such information is not to forget that it can harm some inadequate personalities

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