The Starbrite 2017 Northern Region boot camp kicked off on the 25th of September and ended on the 29th of September. As all the past years the camp was organized for the contestants who were the best in their various towns and cities. The camp was held at Karimazondo camp site in Marondera. The contestants boarded the bus in Harare and one could see the glowing faces of the contestants as they were all happy and excited about the camp. For some it was their first time and did not know what to expect but for others it was their second time.
On arrival the contestants received a “unique” welcoming as they had to finish their journey on foot. This came as shocking news to the contestants as they thought they were going for a fancy, luxurious camp. As they got to the camp, they were instructed by Coach TB to go and dive into the mud pool. This was done to make the contestants equal so that no one feels inferior or superior than the other.
After the physical activities on the first day, later in the evening the auditions rolled on. Indeed the Northern Region has great talent, this was seen through the dancers, poets, singers and comedians. The judges’ panel was made up of Precious, BaShupi (an artist), Coach Brian (vocal coach) and Patience who did an impeccable job. After the auditions and each contestant had received some advice and correction they had supper and resorted to bed.
Early the following morning at 5 am the contestants were woken up for the morning jog and physic. For the contestants it was a bit hard as majority of the group was not used to these exercises. Afterwards they were placed into groups and had to prepare group performances. Each contestant was expected to have a performance on standby or always ready to perform. The whole purpose of being grouped was to promote teamwork and unity.
The third and fourth days were characterized by elimination and found a large number of the contestants going home. For those who were eliminated it was a bit hard and a sorrowful moment as some ended up crying But the contestants who remained behind were reminded that it was not because they were good that they survived the elimination meaning that they had to continue working hard. On these days they also had the opportunity to have sessions with Coach Brian, they were taught about vocals and how to control their voices when singing. They also had to build a bridge which they crawled on, on the fourth day.
During the fourth day the contestants were asked to do some duets and after the duets each performer or contestant would do an individual performance. These duets showed that the contestants were indeed talented and creative and most of them managed to take into context what they had been taught and corrected. After their supper, they had a bonfire were each of them had to talk about his/her role model and why he liked him/her. After the role model talk, Mr Mpariwa had the opportunity to give the contestants advice and also expressing his gratitude to all the stakeholders. This was a very helpful moment to those who listened to the words of advice they were given. Later BaShupi had to perform and the day’s activities came to an end as they had a journey ahead of them on Friday.
Friday came and the contestants had to travel back to their various homes and during the journey the contestants were very happy and one would also notice a great change in character amongst the contestants.