BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
ORGANISERS of the annual talent show, DreamStar Zimbabwe, have upped the stakes for this year’s edition by increasing the prize money ahead of the grand finale set for August 31 at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
The talent-search is organised and sponsored by Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation in partnership with the Embassy of China to Zimbabwe and the China Africa Economic and Culture Exchange Research Centre.
Spokesperson, Tinashe Kitchen, told NewsDay Weekender Life & Style that the increase in the monetary prize was in response to the prevailing economic situation.
“We have 17 lucky contestants who have qualified for this year’s grand finale scheduled for August 31 at the HICC. This will be our largest and most competitive final since the talent show’s inception about six years ago,” he said.
“The ultimate winner will receive $30 000 plus a trip to China, while the second and third-placed winners will pocket $15 000 and $7 500 respectively.”
Last year, the competition paid out $3 000, $1 500 and $750 for the ultimate winner, the first and second runners-up, respectively.
Kitchen said preparations for this year’s edition were now at an advanced stage.
“We are very excited for this year’s edition of the national finals whose two-week long bootcamp for the artistes commences on August 17. During the bootcamp period, all the artistes will fine tune their acts and receive mentorship from established artistes like Cindy Munyavi, Sani Makalima and Tariro neGitare,” he said.
“Part of the mentorship programme touches on different themes that will include networking, sex education, etiquette and much more.”
He said this year they travelled to four universities — University of Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe University, Midlands State University, and Chinhoyi University.
They also introduced the inner-city auditions in Warren Park and Glen View in a bid to expand the reach and diversity of the programme.
“Through DreamStar Zimbabwe Talent Show, we are committed to uplift talent from singers, dancers, beat boxers, magicians, and all other performing artistes to help them rise from the backstage to the official stage,” he said.
“Next month we will be sending five students from DreamStar 2018 to China on full masters scholarships.”
DreamStar 2018 was won by gospel singer Desire Makoni, whose flare and spirited performance on stage blew away the judges.