Protégé celebrate 21-year milestone

Protégé vocal group are celebrating their 21st anniversary with a show at the City Hall on Friday December 13. Back from left, are Ziyaad Dunshire, Ebrahim Floris and Isgak Adams. Seated in front, is Safwaan Goolam.

The“boy band” vocal group, Protégé, will celebrate their 21st anniversary with a City Hall concert on Friday December 13.

Ekraam Cupido, Wafeeq Saffodien and Devon Roman started the group in 1997, while they were pupils at Cathkin High School in Heideveld.

“They were just three guys singing together during intervals,” says current member Ebrahim Floris, who joined in 1999.

In 1998, the group entered their first competition, the Westgate Mall/Plainsman Voice Search, but did not manage a win. But the following year, they won the same competition.

They have since gone on to win several other singing competitions.

There have been some changes to the group over the years. Brothers Safwaan and Niyaaz Goolam joined around 2003, after being introduced to the group by Anwar Abrahams from The Boyz.

During that time, when Niyaaz decided to pursue a solo career, Ziyaad Dunshire and Isgak Adams joined the group. Local singing star Jarred Rickets is also a former member of the group.

Protégé have toured nationally and internationally and performed for the king of Malaysia. The group also performed at the 2010 World Cup which South Africa hosted.

“Even though all of have pursued individual interests, we always come together as a group,” says Ebrahim.

The group are known for singing cover versions but will debut three original singles at their show next month.

The group’s manager, Allie Floris, who is also Ebrahim’s father, says even though the members are now all older than 30 he still calls them his “boys”.

“I have been doing their coaching, but they had another manager before. They practise at my place. We survived over the years only by grace. We perform at old-age or children’s homes. We can’t say we made a lot of money because all the money went back into serving the community. We would make donations to organisations or arrange feeding projects.

“One thing I admire about this group, is that all their families are always on board. We had a beautiful relationship with all the parents.”

He thanked everyone who made it possible for the group to put on their upcoming show.

Tickets are R120. Doors open at 7pm. Refreshments will be on sale. For tickets, contact Allie Floris at 082 473 8357 or Shamira at 073 746 9350 or Shuaib at 072 067 9104.