. . . as Sounds of the Universe win Byo finals
Talent shows are now two a penny right around the world. Next door in South Africa there have Idols . In Botswana they have two one called My African Dream and another called My Star. In the United Kingdom. they have their own talent shows which have spawned singers such as Leona Lewis and others.
It is no longer moot therefore that these shows represent an opportunity for wanna be popstars to buy a ticket to the big leagues of showbiz. Of course, other shows have produced musicians such as Eric Moyo who won Idols East and Central Africa but seems to be taking too long a trip to the pantheon of the certified greats.
Over the weekend notwithstanding, local music lovers had a chance to see local bands with pouting front men battle for a chance to snag the US$1000 dollar prize money that comes alongside the berth to represent the region in the national finals of the Chibuku Road to Fame music contest sponsored by Delta Beverages ‘ Chibuku brand.
The regional finals were staged at the Manor Hotel down town in Bulawayo. Sungura music acts dominated the platform with Sounds of The Universe winning the ticket.
The Nguboyenja township based sungura band Sounds of the Universe ruled the roost on Saturday to be crowned the Chibuku Neshamwari Road to Fame regional champions. Second runners up were Dakamela Super Sounds who received US$500 with Ruzenga Super Stars reaping US$300.
Sounds of the Universe. A very weird name if you ask me. But win they did and now the hope is that they may follow the path of Mokoomba for example which has stormed the world stage with their Tonga based rhythmns. The Mokoomba group, incidentally came through a similar competition by the name of Music Crossroads which used to be run by Swedish Stig Asp and in later years by Mathias Bangura.
In an interview after the competition, Sounds of Universe band leader Ncengile Moyo expressed his hopes for the band’s future in the dubious universe of pop music.
“Our group was started three years ago but we have been facing a lot of challenges among them getting money to record our music and getting costumes for the group. Now the money should help us along the way.”
The Chibuku Road to Fame was launched by the National Arts Council and Delta Beverages in 2001 with the aim of promoting and developing musical talent. This partnership is in my view a welcome one which bodes well for the future of the Arts in our country. As it happens, corporate giants such as Pepsi and Coca Cola are part and parcel of such initiatives.
My only gripe is that Delta should increase the prize money. It is paltry. I suggest that they at least purchase the winning groups the full band kit. Now wouldn’t that be something substantial, to give the artist the tools of his trade which are a major cost element in his business ? The national finals are set for September 28 at Glamis Stadium in Harare.
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