The brainchild of musician and arts innovator Blessing ‘Bled’ Chimanga with support from Alliance Francaise de Harare Celebrate Africa music competition is now ongoing, starting with the talent search for traditional instrument players.
“The competition uniquely focuses on musicians who play traditional African instruments and accompany themselves by singing in an African language. The winner’s prize is driven towards the advancement of perfecting their instrument-playing techniques and building a career: USD300 in cash, a professional studio recording and video of one song; a one year music education scholarship at a local music school; a year mentorship and professional management programme with myself Blessing Chimanga and the Dreams Trust,” said Blessing .
Chimanga said, “What makes this competition different from the rest is the main focus on African music instruments, and for young musicians to learn to believe in their true identity and sound. Our main focus is on upholding our cultural sound and creating a product that will be a model for cultural heritage for generations to come. Our culture, our instruments, our languages are special but it seems that as the younger generation we have not been given enough creative material that can make us proud of who we are, and our real African identity. There are players out there, but there’s a strong leaning towards western instruments too. We need to protect and promote our traditional instruments.”
“For us, we believe the prize list is relevant to the winner, to give them education and mentorship until they stand as a solid musicians in the performance and promotion of their art, rather than giving them things that are not sustainable.”
Participants will be judged by a panel of three professionals who will provide constructive advice to help them in their music journey.
The week-long competition includes auditions in Harare, Gweru, and Bulawayo and the second round and finals back in the capital. Dates are:
•Harare – 5th and 6th of Dec 2020 – Alliance Francaise theater – Round 1
•Bulawayo – 7th of Dec 2020 – Zimbabwe Academy of Music – Round 1
•Gweru – 8th of Dec 2020 – Joyful Praise Choir Offices – Round 1
•Harare 10th of Dec – Round 2 with all the 30participants from the 3 cities •Harare -13th of Dec – Finals with the final 5 finalists from any of the 3 cities.
The competition will be broadcast live daily on the Alliance Francaise Facebook page, Dreams TV Facebook page and Play Afrika Facebook page and YouTube channels.