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Sunrise Band come out tops

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Sunrise Band, a Mutare- based Afro-jazz group, managed to secure first position at the 2011 Manicaland Chibuku Road to Fame music talent contest which was held at Dangamvura Hotel in Mutare over the weekend.

Sunrise, whose style is a fusion of both Willis Wataffi and Victor Kunonga’s music, bagged $1 000 for beating seven other groups who had also participated in the competition and also secured a berth at the national finals which will be held on September 17.

They will battle with nine other groups from different provinces at the finale.

Hungwe Stars, Manicaland winners of last year’s competition who also competed at the national finals, settled for second position, a result which they clearly did not digest well.

NewsDay caught up with them and they said they had hoped to clinch first position so as to try their luck again at the national finals. They won $500 for taking second position.

Sakubva-based Bembera Band was third and they walked away with $300. Competition was stiff and the groups proved that Mutare had talent as there were Wataffi, Kunonga, Simon Chimbetu and James Chimombe wanna-bes.

Most bands though had good drummers and guitarists but lacked powerful vocalists.

One of the judges at the event told the competitors to improve on their crowd engagement and those who had no drummers were disqualified from the competition.

The first group, UNIPAD, was one of those who were disqualified because they had no drummer.

The band members tried by all means to sway the organisers of the event into believing that the judge had rigged the competitions and the organisers looked into all allegations which were untrue.

After noticing that they had failed to lie in their favour, some of the UNIPAD members were spotted crying to the organisers saying all they wanted was to come to Harare.

“All we wanted was to come to Harare and try our luck there. Our band has been around for some time but we really thought we would win the competition this time,” said one of the UNIPAD band members.

Patricia Murambinda, Delta Beverages marketing manager, who was also present at the event, said she was touched by the way the bands were serious about the event.

“I didn’t know Chibuku Road to Fame had such an impact on the people. I was really hurt when some of the participants came crying to me asking me to assist them to come to Harare,” said Murambinda.

She however urged all the groups who had participated and lost to keep practicing and keep their groups intact.

Meanwhile, Assegai Crew gave people a good run for their Chibuku drinks which were given for free as the group kept people on their feet.

They performed after the competitions and people danced the night away with the group.

Chibuku Road to Fame was launched in 2001 by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in collaboration with Delta Beverages.

The main objective of the talent search competition is to promote young aspiring musicians to interact with established artistes as to well assist them record their music.

This year’s winner of the national finals will walk away with $5 000 and a recording contract from Gramma Records.

This weekend, the Chibuku Road to Fame provincial competitions will be held in Hwange and only one group will be chosen to represent Matabeleland North at the national finals.

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