Starbrite is Zimbabwe's oldest talent search show. A brain child of popular television and radio personality,Barney Mpariwa the show's objective is to identify and promote performing arts and musical talent. Having been run for over ten years now, the show had produced some of the country's best musicians such as Prudence Katomeni, Matthew Kaunda and Tendai Chidarikire. The show took a long sabbatical for nearly twenty years before coming back in 2012.
In 1989 Mupariwa created this concept to offer opportunities for all talented Zimbabweans. The concept was borrowed from the Western talent search shows such as American Idol, X Factor and Britain has got Talent. Mupariwa has been at the forefront of the show since it was launched in 1989 to date.
The organisers call for people who think they have talent to apply to starbrite. During the early years, people used to apply by post office mail. The producers would go through all the applications and write back to all the applicants by via post. When the show resumed in 2012 applicants could now apply via social media. A registration fee of US$5 is required for one to enter the competition.
For the first time the organisers extended their reach to prisoners. They did auditions at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison through the Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS)’s prisoner re-integration programme. About 55 acts displayed their talent in singing, dance and poetry. Of the 55, 20 qualified to go to the 2nd round.
In 2013, Starbrite introduced a new concept of the mentorship programme. The mentors for 2013 were musicians Selmor Mtukudzi, Sanii Makhalima and a voice coach, Brian Masendeke. The mentorship programme was launched to enhance grooming of the artists.
Bryan Kudengu from Chinhoyi came out tops out of the 7,000 who participated. The young star won a Honda Fit car, all-expenses-paid trips to the United States of America, South Africa, Germany and Vic Falls (for two), Samsung 32’ LCD TV, recording contract with Tuku’s Pakare Paye, a residential stand and a Blackberry handset. Amanda Manyowa from Harare won the second price while Bulawayo’s Xolani Ndhlovu claimed third place. The former got a performance trip to South Africa, a recording contract with Tuku, a mentorship programme with South African musicians Hugh Masekela, Judith Sephuma and Louis Mhlanga, an iPad 4, an android handset and paid-up gym membership. Xolani Ndlovu was awarded a recording contract with Tuku, a laptop and an android phone.
Promise Madavanhu from Masvingo came first with Nomore Dovi coming second.
Magesh Tonadoes dance group came first in the dance category where Takudzwa Mashonganyika was honoured as a special talent. The group won a laptop, a laptop bag, two android phones and a residential stand. The runner up, Hard Mashona, received an android phone and two Oceane hampers.
- StarBrite, 'Starbrite', Published: ND, Retrieved: 16 May 2014
- StarBrite auditions prisoners, 'DailyNews', Published: 6 Apr 2014, Retrieved: 16 May 2014
- Starbrite ropes in mentors, 'DailyNews', Published: 6 Jun 2014, Retrieved: 16 May 2014
- Prizes galore for Starbrite winners, 'DailyNews', Published: 21 Nov 2012, Retrieved: 16 May 2014