Cameras roll as ‘Sunbird Search for a Star’ begins

One after another, the aspiring Malawian artists stepped on the big stage at Sunbird Nkopola on Friday to impress the judges as the search for the next big artist began.

Dubbed ‘Sunbird Search for a Star,’ this year’s talent search promises to be the pacesetter of similar exercises to come.

Neither the blistering sun of Mangochi nor the multiple cameras set inside the audition room were intimidating enough to scare off the aspiring musicians.

Instead, the set-up inside was motivating enough as the contestants who auditioned earlier encouraged their friends outside to try their luck.

The lighting in the audition room provided the perfect atmosphere for the aspirants. The cameras were positioned to grab the finer details while the microphones placed in the room captured even the faintest of voices and when the judges gave their verdict, the contestants knew well it was done in earnest.

Despite none of the seven contestants in Mangochi making the grade, the judges were impressed with the day-long exercise.

“It is encouraging that the aspiring musicians came to audition. It is a fact that everyone has talent but perhaps they did not practise a lot.

“I also liked the attitude of the contestants. I believe they would value the feedback we gave them. Although no-one was recommended to progress, they will move on and learn from this experience,” said Alinane Mphande, who is a lecturer of performing arts at Chancellor College.

Wyson Matola, 35, said the experience of auditioning before the judges and in front of cameras was his dream.

“It is encouraging to hear the judges appreciating the talent we have. There is nothing like a bad artist in my opinion but the truth is that today we did not impress the judges,” said the Mulangeni Sounds vocalist.

A drummer in Chief Chipoka Band, 27-year-old Joseph Oposi shared the same sentiments.

“It is quite an achievement to come here and show the judges what we can do. Those artists who never came here have missed the opportunity to have a professional feedback from the judges.

“What happened today is a great push and someday I would remember this moment. I will continue practising to perfect my talent,” said Oposi who performed a song he composed titled ‘Mamane’.

Sunbird Public Relations Officer Akossa Mphepo said they were impressed with the response from the public adding that the turn up in Lilongwe on Sunday was even better.

“Looking at the numbers, the passion in people’s faces drives across deeper the fact that we are set to make a difference in the lives of those that go through.

“Those who will not go through will cherish the experience of taking part in this year’s auditions,” she said.

She said that as platinum sponsors, Sunbird was confident that the process would reveal the best.

“Our judges have a wealth of experience and that will ensure that we find the most deserving and talented Malawians,” she said.

The judges are musician and TV personality Sweeney Chimkango, keyboard player and music expert Dumisani Mfune and Mphande.

As we went to press Sunday, the judges had not yet finalised the list of artists who have gone through.

After the auditions at Sunbird Nkopola and Sunbird Capital, the crew will be at Sunbird Mzuzu today, Sunbird Livingstonia on Wednesday, Sunbird Ku Chawe on Friday and Sunbird Mount Soche on September 1 and 2.

Sunbird is the official sponsor of the show while the other partners are Times TV, MBC and Axa Bus Services.


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