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DreamStar Zim talent show relaunches

Rapper Christabell “Kikky” Stembeni Mahlungwa will be part of the adjudicators for this year DreamStar talent show.

ORGANISERS of the annual DreamStar Zimbabwe talent show, have said they are committed to uplifting artistic talent from all backgrounds across the country.

The talent show organisers made the remarks yesterday as they announced the relaunch of the competition that makes a return three years post-COVID-19 pandemic that had choked the arts sector.

Before the break in 2020, DreamStar Zimbabwe, organised and sponsored by Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation (JCMC) in partnership with the China Africa Economic and Culture Exchange Research Centre, had become one of the biggest arts and culture talent shows on the local showbiz scene.

The eighth edition of the talent show to be held under the theme: Inspire to Aspire seeks to empower talented people aged between 12 and 40, who are in the arts and culture industry, to help them rise from the backstage to the front stage.

Speaking at a Press conference in the capital, JCMC managing director Napoleon “Napster” Nyanhi said the talent search resumed with some changes to its usual modus operandi.

“This year’s edition of DreamStar will be a television production that will have 13 episodes broken down to preliminary auditions, semi-finals, and finals. Contestants will be derived from a pool of raw and up-and-coming artistes from across Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces,” he said.

“The selected contestants will be auditioned at Zimbabwe College of Music from July 24 to July 27. The semi-finals will be conducted on July 28 and 29. All audition stages, except finals, will not have a live audience.”

Napster said after post-production episodes, the talent show would be aired on one of the country’s television stations in preparation for the grand finale set for October at a date to be announced.

“The 2023 edition aims at bringing to light how the previous editions from 2014 have managed to create influential talented artistes who inspire many young talented artistes and audiences to aspire to elevate their own art and their communities through their talents,” he said.

“The brand will also unveil its new brand ambassador who will be Nyasha David. David is a DreamStar Alumni and participated in DreamStar 2016 and finished as runner-up. He managed to be a signed artiste under JCMC Studios releasing many hit tracks such as Ikoko, Moyo Muti, Mariana and Perfect Reasons, among others.

“He toured China on various concerts as part of his winning prize with DreamStar. He now comes in as a seasoned artiste ready to inspire young talented artistes to become reputable and successful brands.”

He said adjudicators for this year were David, Sean Mambwere, Mbira Queen Hope Masike and rapper Christabell “Kikky” Stembeni Mahlungwa.

“All the judges have had experience in talent identification and management both at home and abroad. Masike carries vast experience in harnessing talent, thereby keeping the heritage of Zimbabwe’s cultural music. Mambwere is a multi-award-winning choreographer and a former DreamStar judge and alumni. Kikky has made a name for herself in the hip-hop genre and has done a lot to uplift up-and-coming talent,” Napster said.

He revealed that this year’s top prizes include a tour to China, recording deals with Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation Studios, and a cash prize of US$3 000 for the ultimate winner, US$1 500 and US$500 for second and third-place winners, respectively.

The other seven contestants will receive consolation prizes and according to Napster there may be changes subject to ongoing negotiations with potential sponsors.

Speaking at the same event, the founder and brains behind the talent show Steve Zhao said despite the economic challenges, they were buoyant and will continue hosting the show with the mission to promote the arts and culture industry in Zimbabwe through the identification and provision of platforms for young, talented artistes across all genres.

“Looking back to when we started, I did not imagine it because throughout the five years we have had a lot of hard times and it is not easy especially during the hard times for the economy, but we are trying and the achievements we have made are quite good,” he noted.

Zhao said this year they would set up the DreamStar Zimbabwe Artistic Foundation that would source funds locally and internationally to support emerging talents across genres.

Zhao added that the youths must follow their artistic dreams and work hard to make them come true.

DreamStar Zimbabwe has produced artistes like Nyasha David, ProBeatz and Fusion 5 Mangwiro who are doing well in the industry.

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