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Dreamstar spurs local talent, strengthens cross-cultural bonds

Dreamstar founder Steve Ke Zhao said the show was a platform to build a strong arts industry where artistes can develop and enjoy the fruits of their work.

ORGANISERS of the country’s premier talent search show Dreamstar have promised to avail more resources to support outstanding local talent and strengthen ties between China and Zimbabwe.

Dreamstar is planned by Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation (JCMC) and funded through a collaboration between local Chinese businesses and the China Zimbabwe Exchange Centre (CZEC).

Since its inception in 2014, the show, which returns after a break owing to Covid-19 restrictions, has played a significant role in cultivating exceptional artists who have gone on to flourish locally and abroad.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the show’s eighth edition preliminary auditions last week, Dreamstar founder Steve Ke Zhao said the show was a platform to build a strong arts industry where artistes can develop and enjoy the fruits of their work.

"Our journey has transcended mere talent discovery, it has evolved into a profound initiative fostering unity between the vibrant spirits of Zimbabwe and China." Zhao said.

“My passion has strongly been about emancipating local artistes in Zimbabwe and helping them spread their culture to other countries through music, dance and other talents (because) we want to build a strong bond among our nations whilst empowering the youths.”

Dreamstar’s journey has so far been a showcase of the unifying power of art as well as the boundless potential that emerges when hearts and cultures harmoniously converge.

Recently, Zhao revealed their plans to establish the Dreamstar Zimbabwe Artistic Foundation in a bid to cushion emerging creatives from poverty as well as influence their growth beyond the talent show.

"As Dreamstar, we believe in nurturing our winners through consistent mentorship where we extend our support by collaborating with the Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation studios.

“We are in the process of establishing a foundation aimed at financing these budding artistes, enabling them to breathe life into their aspirations," said Zhao.

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.

Winners will walk away with prizes including a tour to China, recording deals with JCMC Studios and cash amounting to US$3 000 for the ultimate winner, US$1 500 and US$500 for second and third-place winners, respectively.

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