Former Idol Paxton Fielies paid a surprise visit to her old primary school in Bishop Lavis on their first day back at school on Wednesday.
Greenlands Primary pupils and teachers had no idea their very own Idol would return to school to do a special performance and take selfies with them.
Paxton, 18, says the school was the root of her success and she felt obliged to go back and plant a seed of hope in the youth.
“I sang at assemblies from Grade 2, my first ever concert was there, stage fright were all experienced here first. I always wanted to go back there since I won Idols,” says the 2017 winner.
“I realised this week that I didn’t start singing in high school as everyone thinks, but actually at this very primary school. Teachers at this school know me for singing High School Musical songs in every assembly. I cried on stage here and experienced the first growth and passion for music here.
“I started here and I felt the need to say thank you to the teachers for shaping me and nurturing my talent. Also, I’m grateful that I was never limited here and allowed to express myself the way I could.”
Paxton set up the surprise with the help of her friend Grant Daniels, who performed a cabaret showpiece on her latest single Angifuni.
“I roped in Grant’s help because I knew nobody would suspect anything when he performs – he is a regular performer at this school,” she says.
“Grant was dressed in women’s clothes with a wig on as he performed my song. What really made me proud was that they knew all the words.”
Paxton snuck on to the stage in the school hall toward the middle of the song and pupils and teachers screamed with excitement as the ex-pupil performed with Grant.
“The way their faces lit up with joy was so rewarding,” says Paxton
After her performance, she motivated pupils to study hard, before taking the obligatory fan selfies.
Paxton is set to write her matric exams this year before she leaves for Los Angeles in March and Sweden in May.
“I was invited by the queen of Sweden to return for a visit, which I’m really excited about,” she adds.