Dreamstar, a local talent search show formerly known as Zimbabwe Got Talent, has been able to maintain consistency and relevance over the past years, as well as produce artistes who are doing well in the arts sector.
Founded by Steve Zivanai Zhao in 2014, the arts show has been doing well in empowering many youths in realising and growing their talents, as well as advancing with their education through scholarships in which selected students study degrees and masters programmes of their choice.
Dreamstar is hosted by Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation (JCMC) in partnership with Chinese Embassy and China Africa Economic and Culture Exchange Research Centre.
In an interview with Herald Arts, Zhao said the show has been a dream come true for him.
“Since 1996 when I started to live in this country, my passion has strongly been emancipating local artistes in Zimbabwe and help them spread their culture to other countries through music, dance and other talents,” he said.
“My desire is to build a strong arts industry where artistes can develop and enjoy the fruits of their work.”
Zhao said over the years, Sino-Zim relations have been strengthened through arts and culture programmes.
“Over 100 Dreamstar finalists have travelled to China since it’s inception and have been performing in various provinces in China,” he said.
“Some of the finalists whom we travelled with remained in China as they got jobs there. They have made connections and some continue to pursue their musical careers while others have diversified. In China we believe that the arts are the soul of the nation, that is why we treat them with the value it deserves.”
Zhao has pledged to continue helping the young talented artistes to get to the top. “As Dreamstar, we believe in consistent mentorship of our winners. We sign them with our Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation studios.
“Dreamstar is here to stay and we continue to encourage young people never to give up on their dreams and talent. They should audition with us and who knows what the future holds for them.?
Dreamstar has produced artistes who are making names for themselves, among them musician Nyasha David, presenter and singer Nomagugu Nyce Ncube, Fusion 5 Mangwiro, dance group Sesfikile and beat boxers Probeats and Tafara Dondo.
Preparations for this year’s edition are on course, with the organisers expected to release the list of the 40 finalists who will go through to the semi finals. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, auditions were held online across the country and over 2 000 contestants participated.
The grand finale will be held on December 19. This year’s winner is expected to walk away with US$4 000, while the first runner up will pocket US$1 500 and second runner up US$750.