(NAIROBI, Kenya) — For the first time in the show’s eight seasons, a black contestant is the next South African Idol. Khaya Mthethwa, a gospel singer from Durban, according to The Washington Post, is the new winner of the wildly popular television talent show called Idols South Africa, another spin-off of the original Britain’s Pop Idol.
His victory is being viewed as a cultural landmark. Nearly 20 years after the end of apartheid in South Africa, viewers still tended to vote along racial lines, and voters were disproportionately white because the show was on a subscription cable channel and viewers were charged to vote.
But this year, at last, viewers are cheering a change they hope is a sign of progress toward a more racially inclusive society.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN