The Idol next door

04 December 2013 10:21 AM

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"It hasn't sunk in, and I know it should have by now, but it just hasn't. I've been so busy with interviews and everything that I haven't had time to absorb it all."

The 26-year-old from eMalahleni in Mpumalanga must be the most laid-back person to have been on a competitive reality series.

Not once during the 14-week run did the audience see him shaken. "I panicked and worried like everybody else on the competition, but this is second nature to me. I guess I never really show when I'm stressed," he admits.

"I was born dyslexic, so reading, speaking and writing came with great difficulty to me. But music came easy and I could do it well, so I just started singing," he remembers.

Sukwene says he was a shy child - a far cry from the man we saw confidently whizzing through the competition week after week. "I sang mainly in front of the mirror by myself because I was scared to sing in front of anyone."

The crooner says he didn't anticipate winning. "There are times when I thought I wouldn't make it to the next stage. and I thought I would go home. But I focused on God and believed that He knew what the plan was for me."

This teddy bear had the twittersphere abuzz over his weight loss. Sukwene says it was unplanned. "I never worked out while I was in the Idols house and I'm not weight-conscious at all. I only realised how much weight I'd lost when I watched my first audition and realised that I was big then," he laughs at the memory of his moobs in the green golf shirt.

It was a big shock to his system moving into the Idols house, he says, because he suddenly had to share his space with nine people. "I live alone and being in a house with other people was very challenging. It took a lot of adjusting, but I got used to it. It will be another shock to my system moving back to my house by myself," he chuckles.

He lists rapper HHP as an inspiration because of his consistency and determination.

But it's his family that has been his rock. "My family has been very supportive; my parents are thrilled for me because they have prayed for this for a while and they get to see it happen."

He says his life has changed in the past few months, from being the guy next door to having people stop him for pictures. "It's been a busy time, but I have enough energy and adrenaline to last until January."

As a father to a son, the safety and wellbeing of children is important to him. "Our role as fathers is to take care of our children; they should be bringing us joy and we should do the same for them. Parenting shouldn't be about anything but bringing love to our children."


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