Byo singer is the Dreamstar champ

BULAWAYO-BASED unheralded female singer Rufaro Monalisa Kapofu emerged the ultimate winner of the $30 000 grand prize at this year’s edition of the Dreamstar Zimbabwe Talent Show held at the Harare International Conference Centre on Saturday.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

Apart from her monetary prize, the 25-year-old singer is also set to travel to China for some cultural exchange programmes, courtesy of the talent search organisers 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.

In an interview with NewsDay Life &Style, Kapofu said winning the grand prize was a call answered as she will now be using part of the money to prepare for her forthcoming wedding in December.

“This is something that I have never done. There is no Idols in Zimbabwe. There is no The Voice in Zimbabwe. There is no Zimbabwe Has Got Talent and this was the only talent show I could take apart from Star Bright. I just decided to take the chance when I heard of the auditions,” she said.

Kapofu attributed the strength of being such a performer she is today to being a graduate of Music and Musicology at the Midlands State University.

“I believe studying music will actually help every musician become a better artiste. You will become a better performer in front of the people. You will know what the audiences want as you get to do your research before and just do everything you learnt to have the charisma of an artiste,” she said.

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The second-placed Xul Boy will pocket $15 000 while MK, who came third, is set to receive $7 500.

Guest of honour at the event, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa, said arts and culture exchange was important in cementing Zimbabwe-China relations as arts contribute significantly to the economic development of any nation.

“Zimbabwe is recognised as a country with a strong creative artistic flair and wishes to continuously export its art and talent to China. Our countries need to continue to learn and lean on each other. We know that China is unparalleled in making the arts and culture conduits for their development,” she said.

“Chinese and Zimbabwean cultures are rich and unique in their characters as we have seen during this competition. The various displays of artistic expressions can only be matched by their ability to mesmerise and entertain as we sample aspects of the combined Zimbabwean and Chinese cultures.”

Mutsvangwa said the talent search served as a platform for the two diverse cultures to come together to share and learn from each other in this recreational atmosphere.

“Such cultural exchange programmes by our youths demonstrate our robust Zimbabwe-China relationship. Besides this, providing creative space and platforms also shapes possibilities for our youths who get transformed into active and appreciative citizens as they consciously live their cultures, pass these on and still learn from other cultures,” she said.

“Dreamstar Zimbabwe is one of the most effective talent search completion in the country. Since its inception in 2014, the talent promotion show has grown in leaps and bounds as it searches the nation for talent, young artists and moulds them into seasoned performers as a means of fighting social ills like drug abuse, while promoting arts and culture as developmentally significant. I commend such an initiative as it brings about socio-economic development to this great nation of Zimbabwe.”

Speaking at the same event, Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun said China will present more opportunities for Zimbabwean youth with outstanding talents.

“Dreamstar is an amazing, unbelievable and unforgettable talent show I have ever attended. I am amazed, especially by the display of professionalism we have all just witnessed. All the participants should be praised for their wonderful performances,” he said.

“I am sure as China develops and as Zimbabwe-China relations grow, China will present more opportunities for Zimbabwe, especially for young people with outstanding talents like you have exhibited here tonight, to help you realize your wonderful dreams in life.”

He saluted the show organisers for creating such a platform for Zimbabwean youths to showcase their talents.

“The cultural and people-to-people exchanges, a pillar of our relations, are deepening. Co-operation in music, dance and arts has been dynamic and productive. Dreamstar, a signature project of cultural exchange between China and Zimbabwe, with the strong support from the Chinese Embassy, is increasingly familiar to the people of both countries,” he said.

“Through this show, I have managed to have an opportunity to see another side of the Zimbabwean people which is vibrant, creative, innovative and at the same time fun. It has become a platform which aims to tap into and nurture Zimbabwe young people’s talents to help them reach their full potential through the arts.”

The arts and culture show seeks to empower gifted people aged between 12 and 40, who are in the arts and culture industry, to help them rise from the backstage to the official stage.

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