Donel Mangena

Donel Mangena

He first burst onto the scene with one of the most iconic auditions on The Voice UK reality singing competition and captured the hearts of the audience and home viewers with strong vocals and dazzling dance routines.

His undeniable talent and obvious potential tipped him for bigger things on the music scene and even his coach on the show, Black Eyed Peas frontman, award-winning entertainer Will-I-Am was impressed.

The name Donel Mangena created a buzz online and sparked excitement back home in Zimbabwe. As our Person of the Week feature, the teen sensation is back again with his first music of 2020 and shows no sign of stopping his musical juggernaut into Africa.

The Southampton based singer, now 19, recently released a new song and video called Wish You Well which is well on its way to becoming a hit following his previous offerings such as OMG, Planets, Diving On and the smash hit Bang Like a Drum.

The new music was released through Nigerian singer Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africatalent initiative, to which Donel Mangena is signed. Donel clinched a deal with the successful talent incubation project by the Nigerian star after his memorable run on The Voice UK in 2018.

Mangena exhibited show stopping qualities combined with on stage charisma and musical flair on the show and also snapped up a recording deal with Will-I-Am, with the British superstar expressing his admiration for the British-Zimbabwean teen’s potential.

The talented star has since stepped up his artistry and cuts a slightly different look from the fresh faced talent who captivated the world on the reality show two years back. Now sporting a more chiselled look, the singer dazzles as the protagonist in the Scilla Owusu directed music video for Wish You Well.

The stunning video was shot on a set resembling a garage, with Mangena trying to impress his love interest with some typically impressive dance moves with his posse all dressed in workman garb. Keeping in sync with the groovy dance beat of the song, Donel sports a pair of red mechanic overalls, emblazoned with a Zimbabwean flag and name tag.

Despite going out of his way to get her attention, the leading man could do nothing to attract her attention as she goes on to meet up with one of the guys in the garage. The fast paced video tells the simple story of a guy getting ‘curved’ by a girl he likes and Donel goes on to wish her well with her choice despite overlooking him. The evolution of his look is evident as well as Afrobeats influences as he tries to penetrate the African market with the help of emPawa Africa.

Donel Mangena’s musical career has been steadily progressing since his breakthrough on the talent show on which he came up as runner-up following some scintillating performances. Since then the singer has had the opportunity to perform for the Royal Family in front of the Queen at the Royal Albert Hall in London for Queen Elizabeth’s 92nd birthday bash.

He was invited to perform and introduced at the event by Prince Harry and did a rendition of Pharell’s ‘Happy’. He also shared the stage with legendary artists such as Sir Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Craig David, Anne-Marie, Shawn Mendes, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Sting, and Shaggy.

Donel had only made three television appearances prior to the event and was called a star by Prince Harry. His grandmother’s reaction and on stage dances after his performance on The Voice remains one of the enduring heartfelt scenes of the show in recent years.

Audiences back home were also charmed by his renditions which he blended with his native Ndebele tongue. His worldwide appeal grew as he also scored an opportunity to perform on the final night of Miss World 2018 in Sanya, China. Donel often celebrates his Zimbabwean heritage and the IARA Best Young Male Artiste Winner continues to fly both flags high as his career soars.

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