South African singer Motswedi Modiba, better known by her stage name “MOE”, entered one of China’s major singing competitions as the first “black and African” competitor. The R&B sensation from Tshwane surprised the judges by singing in fluent Mandarin on the Sing! China stage (a rebranded version of The Voice of China).
“I took a huge leap of faith and joined one of China’s biggest singing competitions, Sing! China. It is a competition that is loved and watched around Asia,” posted Modiba on her TikTok.
“This is the first season a black and African has graced this legendary stage. The reception since the show aired a few hours ago has been overwhelming. This is a historic moment: for me, for China, for South Africa, for the world. And it’s one I’m so honoured to be a part of.”
Sing! China was adopted from The Voice, of which the singers’ faces are initially hidden from the judges as they listen to them sing. Modiba expressed gratitude to everyone who has been behind her:
“Thank you to my team here in China of over 20 people who work so hard to make sure I succeed. Thank you for helping me iron out my Mandarin chops and giving me so much courage!… Thank you to my team in SA for holding me down and supporting me.”
Modiba studied Mandarin on a scholarship in China shortly after learning the language at a Chinese school in Pretoria. “It Was a Vibe”, the singer’s breakthrough song that JR Bogopa co-written and produced, was released last year.