Zim has exceptional talent: Mapfumo

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

DREAMSTAR Zimbabwe Talent Show artistic director Leonard Mapfumo says Zimbabwe is awash with untapped, but exceptional artistic talent that needs to be nurtured.

Mapfumo, a celebrated musician in his own right, told NewsDay Life &Style on the sidelines of the talent show’s ongoing bootcamp in Harare that there was need to do more in order to harness local talent.

“Zimbabwe has got so much talent. We are not giving it time because with music, entertainment and the arts, you need to give them time. If we manage to give
our talent an ear and an eye, you will be surprised what the world will then see from Zimbabwe,” he said.

“If you look at most of the artistes in the bootcamp, they are very talented and not only from Harare. They are from Gwanda, Chinhoyi and Mutoko, but they are
never given the time. We need to start looking outside of Harare and to other areas.”

Mapfumo said about 60% of the contestants in the bootcamp were women, although the dance arena was dominated by men.

“As part of the bootcamp, all the artistes are receiving mentorship from established artistes like Cindy Munyavi, Sani Makhalima and Tariro neGitare. And part
of the mentorship programme touches on different themes, among them networking, sex education and etiquette,” he said.

Mapfumo said the stage is now set for the grand finale, where 17 contestants across genres are set to battle it out for honours this Saturday at the Harare
International Conference Centre.

“The contestants are all raring to go and preparations for the grand finale are going according to script,” he said.

The 17 contestants, he said, would be given three minutes each for their sets as the judges will pick the top seven and not 10 as has been the case in previous
editions.

“The top seven will then have another three minutes to present themselves for the grand prize,” he said.

The organisers this year upped the stakes by increasing the prize money, with the ultimate winner set to receive $30 000 plus a trip to China, while second and
third-placed winners will pocket $15 000 and $7 500, respectively.

The talent search is organised and sponsored by Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation in partnership with the Embassy of China to Zimbabwe as well as the
China Africa Economic and Culture Exchange Research Centre.

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