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A general agricultural worker from LHB Boerdery, near Worcester, won the coveted Agri’s Got Talent title on Friday night. The 25-year old Mariska Jaars opened the gala evening at Allée Bleue, Simondium with her version of Mariah Carey’s hit ‘Hero’ and with her performance set a high bar for the other contestants to follow.
This was the fifth year that the competition was held and the first time that a woman walked away with the honours. Chantel Hess from Boomerang Farm, Grabouw, and Tersia Rhodes from Diemersfontein, were in second and third place respectively.
Earlier Jaars said that the competition and training week, gave her the opportunity to find herself again. “I have suffered from low self-esteem and during this training week I have discovered things about myself that I did not know existed. She described the contest as “challenging, but a great opportunity for agricultural workers”.
“It opens up a whole new world for agri workers. The support from the other contestants has been empowering. We are a family now.”
Agri’s Got Talent is the brainchild of Hortgro’s executive director Anton Rabe and is jointly sponsored by Hortgro, the VinPro Foundation and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. The South African Table Grape Industry sponsors the aftercare project.
According to Thea van Zyl, organizer of this year’s project, Agri’s Got Talent is more than just a singing contest.
“It gives agricultural workers the chance to broaden their horizons and build new networks. The project is an opportunity to develop skills at many levels that they can apply back in their own communities. Emphasis is also placed on the development of human relations – something that is much needed in South Africa. ”
Source: Agri’s Got Talent