Two Ugandan siblings Esther and Ezekiel Mutesasira were over the weekend crowned winners of the first edition of East Africa’s Got Talent show, a contest that drew participation from four countries, according to BBC Africa.
The siblings won a cash prize of $50,000 in the Sunday night finale that had six contestants.
Other six finalists were Comedic Dance Group (Uganda), Dance Alliance Network (Uganda), Jehovah Shalom Acapella (Uganda), Janella Tamara (Kenya), Spellcast (Kenya) and Inteyoberana cultural troupe (Rwanda).
Esther and Ezekiel’s rendition of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s ‘when you believe’, won over judges and tweeters who commended them using the hashtag #EAGTFinale.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sent his congratulation to the duo in a tweet soon after they were announced winners.
The competition is part of Got Talent franchise owned by English entertainment mogul Simon Cowell. It drew participation from Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and hosts Kenya.
The show became the topic of a heated debate in August after the Burundi government accused a group of Burundian refugees of illegally playing the country’s famous traditional drums on the show.
The law in Burundi prohibits people from playing the national drums without the government’s authorisation.
Burundi’s ritual royal drum playing was recognised as a protected cultural activity by Unesco in 2014.
The drummers who took part in the talent show had sought refuge in neighbouring Rwanda, a regional nemesis of Burundi.