StarBrite is a talent search show which was born in the late 1980s before the birth of cellphones, DSTV, the internet (and its attendant social networks etc), it predates the Western popular talent shows like X Factor, UK/US Has Got Talent. StarBrite is a truly Zimbabwean creation, showing the imagination and creativity of its producers. Back then the show was a must watch program on ZTV and the objective is to get and even surpass the dizzy heights of its early years. StarBrite was produced by ZBC and presented by the evergreen current Executive Director/Producer Barney Mpariwa. For nearly 20 years StarBrite was off air as its original creators left the country to pursue further education and exposure. The show made a much awaited comeback in 2012, this time produced by Events R Us.
StarBrite new unscripted series, gives viewers the opportunity to help discover the next national superstar or breakout music group, poet or stand-up comedian. The show has the enviable record of discovering such polished acts like Kireni Zulu, Prudence Katomeni-Mbofona, Chidarikire, Mateo Potatoe etc. StarBrite being home-grown has a different format, producers travel the nation searching for talent from any age group - both solo artists and vocal groups, poets, dancers - who are willing to brave the panel for a chance to make their dreams come true. Auditions for StarBrite are held every year in all the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe plus Norton and Chitungwiza.
Auditions are held without audience and the contestants are not even made aware of the presence of a panel of judges. The successful contestants from the provinces are invited to Harare for the second round auditions where they face the judges and a live audience, the ‘fourth judge’. Those who pass this test are taken for boot-camp, usually a resort out of town where apart from the usual singing, dancing chatting, contestants are taught the skills of life (including physical exercises, discipline etc) and what to expect as an artist. Boot-camp help in determining the fate of the hopefuls and reduce their numbers for the final rounds. The boot-camp is therefore the ultimate test to prove they have the vocal ability, charisma and stage presence it takes to become an artist.
Those contestants who survive the Boot Camp are divided into three or four mixed groups. Each group will be mentored by one of Zimbabwe’s known artists or producers. Its not only a competition between the contestants to stake their claim for the coveted win, but it's also a showdown among the mentors as to whose acts will dominate the competition and make it to the finals. Separate judges are romped in to decide how the competition progresses, but it will be up to Zimbabwe to decide who ultimately shines the brightest.
In its debut season, StarBrite discovered winner Brian Kadengu and several other stars who are hogging the limelight, Amanda Manyowa, Xolani, and Rutendo Machiridza. It also discovered talented poet Promise Madavanhu and a new popular genre of entertainment in Takudzwa aka ProBeats The season 1 show featured star judges Diva Cindy Munyavi, producer Joe, DSTV and former Big Brother star Vimbai Mutinhiri, entrepreneur Assa, DJ Tendai Chakanyuka, gospel singer Mudiwa, the ever agile urban groover Roki, musician Willis Watafi, jazzy diva Dudu, producer Herman Chimusoro and performances by musical stars Sanni Makhalima, Stunner, Trevor Dongo and many others.