The first in four years: NHS hosts successful Talent Show


Photo Credit: NHS Instagram

Caption: From South High’s NHS Instagram account, a captured moment of the voted fan-favorite performance of Aisha Abdullah & Tony Nguyen! These two choreographed their own dance to Blankpink’s song, Pretty Savage.

Muniratu Shaibu and Peter Dang

The National Honor Society (NHS) recently hosted its first-ever talent show post-covid, on  June 2nd during second hour. The show consisted of 9 acts, including a bonus performance featuring a band.  The main acts included performances like singing, poetry, dancing, and various instrumentals. The show was met with much excitement and garnered great attendance rates. There were around 300-350 students who attended the show, and the whole auditorium was quite full. 

Aside from attendees being able to vote their ‘fan favorite’ towards the end of all the performances, there were 2 judges who would ultimately decide who would win the prizes. The talent show was judged by Principal Runswe and social worker Mx. Alicia. The top 3 winners that the judges chose received either one of three cash prizes depending on their standing. They included; first place getting $200, second getting $100, and third getting $50. These cash prizes were to be mailed to the winners in cash after the show. 

Although all of the acts were outstanding, only three acts were chosen to receive the prizes. These acts were Salmi, Nusta, Fariha, Ramaas, Zayda, and Lucy’s performance of Un Año (receiving first), Nasteho’s poetry performance of her poem ‘African Girl & Her Words’  (receiving second), and Ottar’s original bass guitar performance (receiving third).  

The winning act’s rendition of Un Año by Sebastian Yatra was met with great success. “We were really surprised when we won because the other acts that participated were so good. It was really exciting because it was our last performance of the year and for it to be the winning act felt amazing,” the band’s guitarist Lucy Cano recalls. The audience showed a big liking towards their performance and were very interactive, waving their flashed phones throughout the performance to show their support.

Nasteho Abdi’s poem was originally written to be performed at East African Night, which was supposed to be Friday, March 17th. However, things didn’t go as expected that day and the show was eventually canceled, meaning many participants didn’t get a chance to perform, including Nasteho. So when the opportunity for the talent show came into the picture, Nasteho mentions she “took back an opportunity that was taken from her” because she felt “her words needed to be shared still.” Though people weren’t able to show physical support during poetry performances, many still were touched by Muniratu Shaibu and Nasteho’s words afterward. Faisa Mohammed, an attendee of this event mentions how much she appreciated hearing poetry at the talent show. “It gave me chills to hear the poem and how real it was,” Mohammed elaborates.

As mentioned earlier, attendees to this event got to vote and pick a ‘fan-favorite’ of the various acts through a QR code. The voted fan favorite was a self-choreographed dance to Blackpink’s song Pretty Savage by Aisha Abdullah and Nguyen Pham.  Aisha mentions she and Nguyen “wanted to collaborate on a dance because it’s something we both love doing.” As two students who are both a part of ASA (Asian Student Association) Dance, they enjoy dancing, so why not do it for a talent show after all? “ASA Dance always puts so much work into their performances,” Faisa recalls upon the fan-favorite pick performance of the show.  “There were some tweaks that we probably would’ve liked to make,” Aisha continues, “but the dance turned out really good.” 

However, as many may be wondering, why hadn’t there been a talent show in so long? The most obvious reason of course would be due to COVID-19. Even after resuming in-person classes for the 2021 – ‘22 school year, many South traditions remained un-revived, including the annual Talent Show.  Ms. Reyes, the current NHS advisor, mentions “according to the current NHS board, this was the first talent show in four years.” 

Considering the success of this event this year, most participants wouldn’t mind doing this again for a 2024 Talent Show. Aisha recalls her participation, saying, “It was a good experience no matter what and was another opportunity to perform.” On top of that, Nasteho Abdi elaborates on how the talent show was a way for her to reach people with her words. “I feel like the Talent Show could be a way to grab the attention of those who don’t normally listen to poetry.” Though Ms. Reyes wished the process of making this event happen was more organized, she states, “I was proud of the final product and all the kids that took this opportunity to share their work.” The revival of the annual talent show was an immense success and it’s absolutely an event that we should continue to host for future classes.