Auditions in a hall in Nelspruit at the end of a hot tiring day
....... The look in Ray's eyes (the white senior judge), shook her to her very core.
Here was someone looking at her as if she was a piece of dirt, a nobody, something of no value to the world. A jolt ran through her as she realized with absolute certainty the only way she would gain respect was through proving she could sing.
'I’ll teach you,' she thought giving Ray a haughty look then forgot his existence as a long-forgotten memory blew into her mind and she saw herself as a child sitting by the fire with her papa and mama, enveloped in their love, as they sang their favorite songs.
‘Sing, TiNyiko, sing,’ she heard her mother’s urgent voice again. 'Yes, Mama, I’ll sing for you.’ she whispered.
Lifting her head she started singing. She was singing her mother and father’s love song.
Everyone in the room stopped what they were doing and turned to listen. Zanele, Thato and Nomsa looked at each other and shrugged; this wasn’t the song they had chosen, but they started to harmonize with TiNyiko and sway in time to the music. There would be no dancing to this song, but they’d forgive her, for the girls had never heard TiNyiko deliver such a pure, soul-filled song that spelled out the raw majesty of the heartbeat of Africa.
Ray didn't even realize he was holding his breath. Thandi listened, her mouth open. Anita leaned forward, watching TiNyiko in fascination. Stephan didn't understand one word but knew without a doubt they had found a star. Deon found himself covered in goosebumps. The cameramen were not surprised to later discover they’d forgotten to turn on the cameras. Vusi stood, tears pouring down his face. ‘TiNyiko, you’re back, praise God,’ he said under his breath.