In conversation with Idols SA winner Luyolo Yiba

Written by TVSA Team from the blog Interviews on 19 Nov 2019
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Join me for a chinwag with Idols 15 winner Luyolo Yiba in the wake of his win on Sunday night (17 November)...


Tashi: Congratulations! You must have heard that so much. What question have you been asked the most since your win?

Luyolo: How do you feel? How does it feel to become a millionaire? That's the one question I'm being asked. *Laughs*
Tashi: And how does it feel?

Luyolo: So you're also asking me! *Laughs*
Tashi: Well, we may as well find out what you've been telling everyone. *Laughs*

Luyolo: It's feels great, it feels great. To be honest, I always stutter when I have to answer that question because it's so much of a great feeling that I don't have words to describe it.
Tashi: I'm sure and there's the sort of expectation that you must say "Oh it's so wonderful," but there are other considerations because now you have to decide on what you're going to do with the money.

Luyolo: Exactly, exactly.
Tashi: So what are you going to do with the money?

Luyolo: I haven't thought about it, I'm still gonna think about it. *Laughs*
Tashi: Just off the top of your head, if you were to think of one thing you've always wanted to do, what would that be? Not that you're definitely gonna do it but something that's crossed your mind?

Luyolo: Um, eish, I don't know hey! I never thought I would become a millionaire, especially NOW, it just came like "boom!". I don't know actually, I don't wanna lie, I really don't know.

At the press conference, immediately after Sunday's finale.

Tashi: What's the secret to your success? Why do you think you won?

Luyolo: It's the hard work I put in. I believe I really worked hard and then obviously the people voted for me, the people loved me and for that I'll forever be grateful.

Also, I just think... I believe a lot, I believe in God so I believe everyone has a time in their lives to do something so I guess this was my time to win the competition.
Flash fact: There's no confirmed date on when Luyolo's winners' album will be recorded or released. Will be confirmed by next week apparently.

Tashi: Your winners album... what would you like it be?

Luyolo: I'd like to do... obviously I'd like to have some Afro Soul in it, definitely. That's the type of music I'd like to do and yeah, I think that's how I want my album to be.
Tashi: If there's one artist that you'd like to collaborate with, locally and internationally, who would it be?

Luyolo: A local one... Samthing Soweto because I love his music. I love how, even before Amapiano that he's doing now .. I just love his music. I think he's a great artist - he's very intelligent when it comes to music.
Internationally, I think I'd love to maybe sing with John Legend.
Tashi: I was gonna say but didn't want to put words in your mouth. Why? What is his appeal to you?

Luyolo: Growing up I've been listening to him. I love, LOVE his music.
Tashi: You're a software developer by profession... what type of software do you develop?

Luyolo: I did web development, websites and programmes. We focused on building software for solving problems that we had in the company.
Tashi: What programming language do you programme in?

Luyolo: Yeah, I use java and Also, html, css and bootstrap.

Flash facts: Luyolo grew up in King Williams Town with both his parents and four sisters: two younger and two older.

He went to De Vos Malan High School and studied software development at Walter Sisulu University.
He's 25 and NOT 24 - he changed age on 28 October 2019.

Tashi: Are you going to relocate to Joburg now?

Luyolo: I'm considering relocating but ja, I'm still considering it.
Tashi: It's an interesting one because on one hand Joburg is where so much happens but on another  you've also got a fan base in the Eastern Cape which you could capitalise on.

Luyolo: Yeah so that's why I'm still thinking about it.
Tashi: Do you have your own place in King William's Town? You're set-up there?

Luyolo: My home is King William's Town but then I have my own place in East London.

Tashi: What's it like living in the Idols house?

Luyolo: Hahahahaha, haaaa. Living in the house is fine.
Tashi: And I won't add: with the Qwabe twins.

Luyolo: *Laughs* Haa, okay, you better not add that. It's been great, it's been fun. I got to make friends. It's been nice, it's been wonderful.
Tashi: But what is it like? Do you live on top of each other? Do you share rooms? Do you have any privacy during your time there?

Luyolo: We don't share rooms, every person has their own room as soon as you get to Top 10.
Tashi: So it's not like living in Big Brother.

Luyolo: No, no it's not like living in Big Brother. *Laughs*
Tashi: Was it an actual house-house?

Luyolo: It was a guest house.
Tashi: Oh okay, do you have all your meals there? Did someone cook for you?

Luyolo: Yes, we have all our meals there. In the morning we have breakfast - the ladies who clean our rooms make breakfast - and then lunch and supper we have a catering company that comes in.
Tashi: What was it like when there were conflicts in the house? How did you manage that?

Luyolo: Well, we managed it like grown people - we talked about it. We just managed it like grown people.
Tashi: Ja, but sometimes grown people are not that good at managing it.

Luyolo: Ja, we made sure that we stay out of the drama.
Tashi: I think the show should film some of the stuff that happens there and show it on the show. Do you also think so?

Luyolo: *Laughs* But why though, why do you think that?
Tashi: Because it would make it exciting. It would give it a whole new element to see what you guys go through.

Luyolo: No but that would be like Big Brother and I believe Idols is not Big Brother.
Tashi: *Laughs* Okay, we'll agree to disagree on this one shall we? Who was your best friend there? Who did you become closest too?

Luyolo: Everyone actually. Everyone.
Tashi: Was there one person that you felt was a bit of a soulmate, someone you could confide in - that kinda thing?

Luyolo: I had three people that were like deep, deep, deep which was Nolo, Mangaliso and Sne.

Tashi: Going forward now as you embark on this next phase, what do you think the biggest challenge is gonna be? Besides deciding on how to spend your money.

Luyolo: I think the biggest challenge is... I don't know, staying relevant. Yeah, I think it's gonna be the biggest challenge because you're no longer in the competition, you're actually like in the industry so you're in there with the top people so ja.
Tashi: Have you had time to think about how you're gonna stay relevant?

Luyolo: I think on social media, you have to be there. I think social media is one of the platforms that helps us stay relevant so whatever you do, whenever you have a single out, post on social media whereby you just wanna make a video, just to tell people that you trying to stay relevant you know.
I believe that social media is very helpful in that, and the best thing to do is to utilise it.
Tashi: What I'm hearing you saying is to use YouTube in particular, videos.

Luyolo: You're right, yeah.
Tashi: Did you watch that show the Sing-Off where Pentatonix won?

Luyolo: Oh yeah.
Tashi: They've used YouTube like that.

Luyolo: They really did.

King Williams Town peeps who gathered to watch the finale on Sunday, snapped by Dispatch LIVE.

Tashi: What do you think about live shows, especially in the Eastern Cape? I think that could work for you.

Luyolo: Yeah, that would be great.
Tashi: Have you decided what you're going to do with the money yet since I last asked and now?

Luyolo: *Laughs*, no I haven't. It's going to take a couple of days, I have to think carefully about it, I mean it's a lot of money.
Tashi: If it was me I would have already spent it in my mind over and over, from like weeks ago. What made you decide to enter Idols this year when there've been so many seasons before?

Luyolo: It just came to me that, you know what, let me just try it out. I especially wanted this year to focus on my music - that's one of the main reasons why.

I was like, I want to focus on my music and the hugest platform for that is Idols so I thought let me just try it out and see what happens.
Tashi: Do you write your own stuff?

Luyolo: Yes, I do write my own music and yeah, I have music that I've written before and hopefully I'll get to.
Tashi: Ja, you have to get pushy with them and insist that one of them gets onto the album. What are your songs about? 

Luyolo: They're basically about love, hope... yeah, based on that.
Tashi: You say love.... do you have love in your life?

Luyolo: *Laughs* Yes, I have love in my life, my parents love me. *Laughs*
Tashi: Haha, okay, I'll ask it directly: are you single?

Luyolo: *Laughs* Why do people wanna know this? (Laughs)
Tashi: *Laughs* I suppose it's because the girls out there need to know if they've got an opportunity. (Oops, I was gender stereotyping by leaving out guys. Sozzles).

Luyolo: I'm single.
Tashi: Well, the great thing about winning a show like this is you literally don't have to be single anymore. At all! 

Shows in this post: Idols

Channels in this post: Mzansi Magic


20 Nov 2019 22:41

I'm really glad that he followed Fresh and Randal's advice and didn't become a one trick pony... I remember him very well when he sang You And I at the auditions and I kept telling my mom she has a son-in-law in him haha. I was sad when he almost went home in Theatre Week but he pulled through and ended up being the last man standing! I fell in love with his singing the way I did with Tebogo back in 2016. He is a great musician and I can't wait to buy his albums! Sunshine Through The Rain is doing the most!

Bby gal
21 Nov 2019 00:00

Umm wat cn i say..i jus wanted sneziey to win i luved her frm e my congrats to yu Luyolo yu deceived t...kip on shining and all e best in yo lyf n yo career n music

09 Dec 2019 17:33

5 weeks later I haven't had his single on radio, I haven't seen his video on tv, hardly any interview with major radio station about his music

09 Dec 2019 17:39

On the other hand Tira is making all the noise with the Qwabe twins they are everywhere it's up to them to climb a ladder in the music industry. Gallo records marketing system/strategy is whack

10 Dec 2019 11:01

True Goku, they're pathetic! There's SO much they could do with the winners and yet year-after-year they refuse.

They should be doing Christmas singles, duets with established artists in their stable, a countrywide tour of the Top 3 or Top 10 but no, they don't do any of these - they just roll out the same-old uncreative and unpassionate routine year after year.

There still isn't even word on when Luyolo will release his album! There's the distinct sense that he's in it alone, now that the cameras have stopped rolling and the lights have dimmed.

And don't get me started on his management team! - they don't send ANY updates about what the winners are up to. Ever. I've asked... pleeeeease keep us TV writers posted on their careers but they refuse. I haven't ever heard a word from them in all the seasons of Idols.

They just totally ignore the media who've followed Idols, which is beyond idiotic. 

Re-airplay... one of the former Idols finalists Graeme Watkins once told me that radio stations don't want to play the Idols winners. I don't know why exactly but I assume it's because they don't regard them as "proper musicians" because they've come from a reality show.

I've also wondered whether it has to do with the fact that many radio stations belong to the SABC and Idols is a MultiChoice show. 

Idols is a TV show first and foremost and the winners suffer from this because now they have to be professional musicians when they came to fame via a different route.

Makes me think... Luyolo said he wants to use YouTube going forward - instead of only using it for music he should include a reality TV/documentary aspect: "Life after winning Idols" - and be completely honest about it!

10 Dec 2019 22:22

Eish Tashi you couldn't have said it any better, I hope that they are reading

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