Teenager Mukai Mahachi has been named winner of the ‘Sing Your Way To Paris’ competition held recently at the Alliance Française in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. She wins a trip to Paris, as well as numerous gift hampers.
Mukai (17), a student at Dominican Convent in Bulawayo, beat 13 other finalists in the competition, which took place during the two-week Francophonie Festival. The top six was dominated by female talent, with Mukai up against Tinatsei Deve, Ruvimbo Mutanhire, Tarisai Mutandwa, Kwekweshiwe Mutambo and Mufaro Mugabe.
Mukai emerged as the crowd favourite thanks to her energetic performance, which saw her wave the Zimbabwean flag on stage, much to the crowd’s delight.
Mukai told the local newspaper The Herald: “I sang ‘Femme de Couler’ which was done by Shy’m, one of the most successful French singers of the 21st century… It is a dance song and I believe that I nailed it.
“The song advocated for racial tolerance - people should love each other despite race differences,” she explained.
“I want to thank my O-Level French teacher, who discovered my talent. She said to me one day, ‘Do you want to sing your way to Paris?’ and I said, ‘Yes’. I urge my peers not to look back but stay focused.
“Music will always be part of my life,” added Mukai.
The annual competition is open to youngsters from 14 to 26 and requires each contestant to sing in French. Last year saw another student of Dominican Convent, Dumisile Mphamba (17), take home the prize.