By Kennedy Nyavaya
A total of 17 acts will take to the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) stage to battle it out for top honours at this year’s Dream Star Zimbabwe finale set for next Saturday.
The ultimate winner will receive ZWL$30 000 plus a trip to China, while the second and third-placed winners will pocket ZWL$15 000 and ZWL$7 500 respectively in a showdown to showcase the crème de la crème of talent in the country.
“This year’s showcase is the biggest we have ever done including 17 finalists. This is because the quality of talent this year was just immense and it was almost impossible to take our usual 14 finalists,” show spokesperson Tinashe Kitchen told Standard Style.
The artistic wits of five judges, including Sandra Ndebele, Gemma Griffith and Ketan Nagar (Bollywood Indian dance choreographer), will be merged with those of fans, through a voting platform, in a show to be streamed live in mainstream and online television.
“Preparations are underway, the artistes are currently in boot camp and we are very excited with our latest edition of Dreamstar Zimbabwe,” said Kitchen.
“This year we have voting platform, which is a new way of engaging fans and getting them to participate in the programme that will also be live-streamed via Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN) and ZTV.”
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, the talent hunt show has been growing in leaps and bounds annually at a time others have scaled down or folded entirely.
Kitchen attributes this to the benevolence of the funders.
“It has not been easy, given the economic challenges that the country is going through. We are fortunate to have the support of sponsors who are committed to advancing Sino-Zim relations through the arts,” he said, adding, mutually beneficial partnerships had carried the show forward.
“We have also forged very strong partnerships with the National Arts Council and local universities, which has allowed us to manage our costs and still produce a top-class talent search promotion.”