On Tuesday a group of 33 Dream Star talent show finalists flew out of the country to China where they are set to perform at festivals in Beijing and Nanjing provinces alongside Chinese troupes.
By Kennedy Nyavaya
The local ensemble is endowed with different talents set to regale thousands in the Far East country.
At the airport, one would have easily felt the great excitement the young artists had as they tightly clutched their passports, uniformly donning casual all-black attires.
“China is a different audience altogether; they are quite attentive and at the same time they do appreciate what we do as Zimbabwean artists, there is always that fascinating feeling,” said beatboxer ProBeatz, the 2015 ultimate winner.
He has been to China before under the Dreamstar banner, but said the feeling of ecstasy is still there.
“It gives you that exposure you never really have here in Zimbabwe because in terms of punctuality, organisation, costumes, sound and everything, it’s different,” he said.
Last year’s champion, another beatboxer, Tafara Dondo concurred:
“Though it is my second time going to China, I am still excited, almost as much as the first time and I think from the last trip what I gained is as a performer, you have to interact with the crowd and get used to performing before crowds of different sizes.”
Dondo, who recalled performing for more than 7 000 people last year, is, however, uncertain where his career is headed after the visit.
“After the trip I will not lie to you, I think I am just going to kind of see where things go from there and just use what I have learned from this trip,” he said.
This is perhaps the case for most of the artists he travelled with, who may have to ponder on what value to extract from the exposure apart from seeing a different and more advanced environment.
Both ProBeatz and Dondo have a number of times this year fused their acts at different concerts and although the former has gained considerable repute, it may not be enough to suffice as significant achievements.
“I feel like we haven’t really done everything but we are doing all we can because there are a lot of things that are quite obvious that are stopping us from doing somethings we should be doing but at the same time, I just feel like people should keep supporting,” suggested ProBeatz.
A confident Dondo believes synergies could be the solution to the situation.
“There are not that many beatboxers and I think if we just combine forces and just do something big, we can definitely come up with something big; together we can definitely make it out.”
The careers of other artists in other niches among this group are also somehow failing to take off in what could be blamed on the hardly growing local arts sector.
But, the Zimbabwe Chinese Federation bankrolled-show director Steve Zhao said the aim was to empower this young talent past the competition
“This is our fourth season now and this team is formed from the winners of the four seasons so if you come to Dream Star, you get a chance. The numbers is certainly large, the first time we had 30 people but this time we have 33 so there is always a chance,” said Zhao.
Zhao said the programme to take the youngsters would continue with each year passing despite the growing numbers as they accommodate past winners.
Dream Star, which last month held its fifth edition, has grown in leaps and bounds to become one of the leading talent scouting shows in the country at a time some have folded as a result of economic challenges.