‘How we won East Africa’s Got Talent,’ Esther and Ezekiel Mutesasira reveal
Esther and Ezekiel Mutesasira, the Ugandan siblings crowned winners of East Africa’s Got Talent, have finally opened up on the musical journey leading to their much-deserved victory.
The duo on Sunday stamped their names in history books when they sang their way to the Ksh.5 million prize money of the competition’s first edition in the region.
The pair’s exemplary rendition of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s smash hit ‘When you believe’ – based on 1998 DreamWorks musical animated feature ‘The Prince of Egypt’ – swept the audience and the judges of their feet.
They beat out six other contestants including; Intayoberana Cultural Dance Group (Rwanda), Comedic Dance Group (Uganda), Dance Alliance Network (Uganda), Jehovah Shalom Acapella (Uganda), Janella Tamara and Spellcast (Kenya).
Speaking on Citizen TV’s Day Break show on Monday, the siblings revealed that they have always had the musical spirit in them even though they never quite recognized it.
According to 14-year-old Esther, it took the intervention and persistence of one of their relatives for them to finally realize they could actually pursue singing.
“At home, in 2017, I was singing in the mirror and my aunt used to tell me I had a talent but I couldn’t believe it. But then one day she hid where I couldn’t see her and took a video of me singing in the mirror and showed me,” said Esther.
“She said ‘you guys know how to sing but you don’t believe it.’ So she registered us in East Africa’s Got Talent.”
11-year-old Ezekiel, on his part, stated that as a child he raided his parents’ wardrobe often in his quest to look like some of the singers he admired on the television.
“I used to imitate musicians on TV; If I see a musician singing, and whatever they are wearing, that’s what I would do,” he stated.
Whereas the older Mutesasira offspring admitted that she went into the EAGT competition with a free spirit, her younger brother was almost certain of their success.
“I was saying ‘what comes, let it come’…but we were brave, we were like whether we win or not, at least we tried and did our best,” said Esther.
Ezekiel however stated, “I came saying ‘You’re going to win, You’re going to win!’ I had the hope inside.”
The pair added that participating in the competition has earned them celebrity status within their peers, which has in turn taught them the value of kindness and humility.
“The East African journey has made me feel confident because during childhood I used to have stage fright,” said Esther.
“I feel good because when I was young I used to wish to become a celebrity. The first edition (performance) when we got 1.5 million views, we became celebrities, at school I’ve been loved so much.”
Ezekiel added: “The experience I’ve gotten from being a celebrity outside the stage is that a celebrity is not just going to sit there… you have to walk around and say hi to people, be polite, have friends, be kind…”
Speaking on their emotions before they were announced winners, the duo admitted to having been scared, with Ezekiel saying he even had to hold his sister’s hand for comfort.
The two further narrated their conversations with their parents, one of whom is in Uganda and the other in Canada, after their victory.
“At home my Dad called and he was like, after they announced me and Ezekiel as the winners, they went out screaming and even the police came asking ‘why are you guys making noise?'” recounted Esther.
“And then Mummy called us from Canada and she was like ‘this side in Canada we’re all screaming for you’ and she was crying.”
Asked about their plans moving forward away from EAGT, Ezekiel – who looks up to his mother for inspiration – stated, “We’re going to sit down and talk to our parents and see what we can do.”