From left to right: Thabiso Makhubela, Mosa Kaiser, Fezile Mkhize, Peelo Mookodi, Zikhona Mda, Ryle De Morny, Palesa Tembe, Shannon Leibach, Laurina Machite and Harmony Katulondi.
After a nationwide audition process and having been put to the test through various challenges in the masterclasses, 10 aspiring presenters have made it to the next round on Presenter Search on 3 as the competition heats up.
Over the next few weeks, the Top 10 will put their presenting skills to the ultimate test as they vie for a coveted presenting spot on SABC 3’s Top Billing, Expresso and Afternoon Express. Throughout the upcoming episodes, the contestants will be eliminated one by one after a series of tasks until the final three are left who will ultimately get a presenting contract with the SABC for one of the three shows. After a vigorous audition process and educational masterclasses, these are the 10 contestants who have impressed the judges the most and who move onto the next phase of the competition:
From Johannesburg, 28-year old Harmony Katulondi is a model and voice-over artist. He holds a double degree in Economics and Econometrics and his unique smooth voice has earned him work for some of South Africa’s biggest advertising campaigns. His style is influenced by his mother, who has her own fashion label that specialises in African prints. He is fluent in French and enjoys spending time outdoors. “I’m Grateful to God and I feel so blessed to be in the Top 10. It’s an honour to know that the judges see something great in me – something great enough to give me the opportunity to be a potential SABC 3 presenter & ambassador,” Harmony shares. “With all that said, I’m really looking forward to the master classes & going through challenges that will better my craft and improve the gifts and talents that I’ve been blessed with.”
Fun Fact: While Harmony is very involved in fashion and entertainment, he is also a Sunday school teacher.
Born in Botswana, 24-year old Peelo Mookodi is an entertainment entrepreneur with a passion for women empowerment. She obtained her degree in International Relations & Psychology at WITS in Johannesburg. No stranger to the limelight, Peelo has experience as a TV presenter in her home country, having hosted a lifestyle travel show on the national broadcaster, BTV. Peelo is passionate about education and in her spare time enjoys reading and cooking. “My initial reaction to having made it to the Top10 was that of pure joy and relief. With that said this feeling was also very short lived because now it means that the real work begins. Whatever brought me to the Top 10 needs to be the reason I am crowned the winner,” Peelo says. “What I am looking forward to the most about being on the show is meeting all the incredible people that will assist in elevating my career as well as constantly being challenged which will force me to really refine my presenting skills.”
Fun Fact: Peelo has a photographic memory when it comes to memorising number plates.
From Johannesburg, 27-year old Mosa Kaiser started her acting career at the young age of six in the popular kids show, Takalani Sesame. Over her career she has had supporting roles in major international productions including the Academy Award-nominated Hotel Rwanda in 2004. She completed her honours degree in film and TV at WITS and currently she hosts her own show on the urban radio station Massiv Metro. “It’s a dream come true being in the Top 10 this season! It’s so unreal,” Mosa shares. “I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can about my craft and what being a presenter is truly about and to finally get the opportunity to potentially kick-start my career as a live television presenter.”
Fun Fact: Mosa is loves impersonations and often impersonates her friends, colleagues and celebrities.
From Johannesburg, 22-year old Shannon Leibach is an acting student at WITS. He describes himself as selflessly devoted to ensuring people have a good time and part-time he organises and manages social events. In 2015 he won a scholarship to The New York Film Academy, one of the most prestigious schools in America. Outside of acting, Shannon is a passionate scuba diver and loves spending time in the water with his dad. “Making the top 10 is the proudest moment of my life so far – it made my dad cry and that never happens!” Shannon says. “It is like a dream come true and an indication that I can achieve my dreams as the judges believe in me. I’m looking forward to spending time in front of the camera and learning from the crew because this industry is all about experience, experience, experience!”
Fun Fact: Not only is Shannon a sports fanatic, but he is obsessed with all things Disney as well.
From Johannesburg, Fezile Mkhize is a 27-year old medical doctor. With a passion to help people, he chose a career in medicine to have a direct positive impact on the lives of others. Convinced to audition by his girlfriend, Fezile hopes that being a TV presenter will give him a bigger platform to live out his passion. In his spare time he enjoys reading and shooting hoops at the local basketball court with his friends. “Ridiculous! That is the very first thing I thought when I knew I had made the Top 10. I’m truly honoured and immensely blessed to live the life I live so having made it this far in a competition of this magnitude is more than I could have asked for,” Fezile shares. “I am really excited to engage in the challenges and really test my mettle. I could inspire another young boy or girl at home who has many dreams and doesn’t think they’re possible. My mission here is to live my dream and inspire people and remind them that you can do whatever you want in life especially if it’s for the betterment of those around you”
Fun Fact: Fezile used to be obsessed with playing marbles and is still ready to take on any challenger who thinks may beat him.
Originally from Hammanskraal, 28-year old Thabiso Makhubela did his postgraduate in Business Project Management at the University of Cape Town. An entrepreneur at heart, he runs his own brand consultancy in Johannesburg and is chairman of the youth chapter at The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa. In his spare time, Thabiso enjoys and evening at the theatre, or feeding his adventurous spirit by skydiving or paragliding. “This is so exciting. I’m satisfied by the fact that I finally followed my heart and placed myself in a space that could see my presenting dream come true,” he shares. “Everyone in the Top 10 is talented so it’s nerve-wracking but I am looking forward to stepping outside of my comfort zone and allowing myself to stretch with every challenge on the show.”
Fun Fact: Thabiso is a dancer and uses this medium of expression to celebrate every milestone.
From Durban, 27-year old Palesa Tembe is an actress and youtuber. She studied drama and psychology at Rhodes University, which must come in handy as the only daughter in a family with four boys. Her family is the most important part of her life and she loves to give back by volunteering at children’s homes in the local community. She uses her Youtube channel to highlight young passionate people who are leaders in their industries. “Being in the Top 10 of Presenter Search on 3 is truly a dream come true. I feel an enormous sense of freedom and motivation and finally being able to be my complete self and fulfil my purpose through this platform,” Palesa says. “I look forward to growing and learning through this show, working on my craft as a presenter and building my brand in the process.”
Fun Fact: Palesa is a rose amongst the thorns. She is the only girl in a family of four boys.
From Port Elizabeth, 24-year old Laurina Machite is a social media influencer, lifestyle blogger and part-time student, working towards her charted global management accounting qualification. She manages her own online platform that empowers women with a range of lifestyle and beauty advice, from fashion tips to make-up tutorials. Laurina lives with her mom and siblings in PE and enjoys spending quality time with them at home. “I am absolutely delighted about making it to the Top 10. I am so happy to know that the judges believe in me enough to choose me as one of the contestants to make it to this level,” Laurina shares. “I am looking forward to continuing this journey with people that share the same passions and dreams as me. I am most looking forward to learning more about the ins and outs of the entertainment industry and about what it really takes to become an amazing presenter. No matter where my journey ends with Presenter Search on 3 I know I am going to come out of this having learnt enough to take me to the very top. I am expecting an extremely steep learning curve.”
Fun Fact: Laurina is a YouTube editing wizz and taught herself everything she knew from scratch.
From Cape Town, Zikhona Mda is a 33-year old actress and voice-over artist. In her career she has starred in a number of local productions including a key role the SABC 1 drama, Amaza. This is a third chance at stardom for Zikhona who auditioned for presenter search both in 2012 and 2015. She enjoys spending time with her two dogs on the beach and is passionate about health and wellness, with a keen interest in yoga. “It feels unreal being chosen to be a part of the Top 10 of Presenter Search on 3 this season. It feels that things are finally coming into alignment,” Zikhona admits. “I have been waiting for this moment my entire life and it feels fabulous. I am looking forward to learning a lot and growing even more. For me, this whole competition is one big presenter masterclass and I am so ready for it.”
Fun Fact: Zikhona is a massive foodie and loves to experiment in the kitchen.
Ryle De Morny
From Cape Town, 29-year old Ryle de Morny is an entrepreneur, model and lifeguard. He is the title holder of “fastest man on sand”, winning gold twice at the world championships for beach sprinting. With a passion for fitness, Ryle runs his own company that manufactures customised gym equipment for athletes. He started lifesaving at the age of eight and has been performing weekend duties at local lifesaving club for the past 20 years. “It is absolutely surreal but at the same time it almost feels as if a dream is starting to materialise. A part of me has wanted this ever since the days of rushing home after school to try and watch Pabi Moloi and the rest of the KTV gang on TV as a kid,” Ryle says. “This show seems to keep throwing curve balls and surprises at me which is challenging. I’m looking forward to what that next surprise might be but more so growing from this experience. I found that in the short while that I have been a part of this show I have learned more than I imagined and hope for more to come.
Fun Fact: Ryle will spearhead Team South Africa’s men’s sprint and flags challenge at the Lifesaving World Champions in Australia this November.
Presenter Search on 3 has previously discovered some of the brightest stars on South African TV to date. Presenters like the late Simba Mhere (Top Billing), Jonathan Boynton-Lee (Top Billing), Zoë Brown (Expresso), Danilo Acquisto (Afternoon Express and Win a Home) and Jade Hübner (Top Billing) all started their careers in the Presenter Search on 3 audition line and have gone on to become household names.
The upcoming episodes of Presenter Search on 3 promise even more drama and entertainment. The contestants will be put through a variety of challenges to test their presenting skills. The challenges are set to push the contestants out of their comfort zone while encouraging perfection every time. This, alongside some dramatic weekly eliminations, makes Presenter Search on 3 a weekly must-watch.
Sponsored by Capitec and McCafé, Presenter Search on 3 searches for three fresh, new faces to join the SABC 3’s Top Billing, Expresso and Afternoon Express in a nail-biting reality format.
Catch Presenter Search on 3 every Thursday during its brand new 20:30 timeslot on SABC3.
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