Former Zimbabwe pacer, Henry Olonga became an overnight sensation on social media on Tuesday night after he stole the show in an audition for a singing talent show, “The Voice Australia”. Olonga’s rendition of Anthony Warlow’s song “This is The Moment”, stunned the audience and had all four judges, Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian, Kelly Rowland and Boy George, in awe.
His spectacular performance which didn’t miss a beat received its fair share of praise from cricketing personalities like former Australian coach Darren Lehmann and South African legend Shaun Pollock.
Olonga last appeared on the international cricket stage in the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup in a Super Six match against Kenya, before he was forced into exile from Zimbabwe in the twilight of his career for protesting against the then country’s leader Robert Mugabe and “the death of democracy in Zimbabwe”. He had worn a black armband as a sign of protest alongside former coach Andy Fowler at the World Cup in South Africa.
What a privilege to be able to sing on this amazing stage. It is a far cry from my former life and thank you to England and Australia for adopting me as one of their own and allowing me to explore new horizons #TheVoiceAU pic.twitter.com/NEjg3ddXFF
— Henry Olonga (@henryolonga) 27 May 2019
But 16 years later, he has resurfaced just before the 12th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup by wowing the audience across the globe.
Here are some of the best reactions to his act-
— Darren Lehmann (@darren_lehmann) 27 May 2019
Great Job Bud… loving it..from the first time I heard you sing .. I have always been impressed..@henryolonga . The Blind Auditions: Henry Olonga sings ‘This Is the Moment’ | The Voice… https://t.co/J8pbCrvHO9 via @YouTube
— Shaun Pollock (@7polly7) 27 May 2019
This is bloody Fantastic … https://t.co/5WGaGWY7vw
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) 28 May 2019
“I’ve been singing a lot of music since I retired from my previous career. I just wanna sing now. Just sing,” said Olonga, who had settled down in the UK for 12 years before moving to Australia permanently with his wife Tara.
The 42-year-old is fondly remembered for his battles with Sachin Tendulkar at Sharjah, where he even dismissed the Master Blaster. Olonga had gained major recognition in the 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup where he had claimed three Indian wickets at Leicester, thus helping his team to win the match by just three runs.
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) 28 May 2019
“It’s been a long journey for me. It’s been about 15 years since I retired and I’ve been redefining myself with a new path. I had been gigging a lot around the place in England and then in the last few years coming to Australia,” said Olonga. He has two children, Talika and Lianna, after settling in Adelaide since 2016.