On the 21st of November 2016 StarBrite bootcamp came into life, with all contestants and crew departing from city hall Bulawayo heading to Matopos at Masiye camp where the bootcamp was scheduled from the 21st to the 25th of November .As the norm of StarBrite the bootcamp is only meant for contestants that had managed to proceed to the next level after evading elimination from the first, second and third round. Over 30 acts in total were suppose to attend the bootcamp .Unlike the previous seasons this season had 2 boot camps first one for the Northern region and for the Southern region. Contestants from the Southern region came from Bulawayo, Zvishavane, Gweru & Kwekwe just to mention but a few.
On our way to Masiye camp contestants were over excited, to many, it was the first time to attend the camp of that sort and they had limited knowledge of what to expect at the boot camp. Upon arrival at the camp there were auditions contestants were placed in the hands of Coach TB the boot camp master who was to devise the initiation ceremony that involved physical training which came as a shock to many because they did not expect that. As if a series of physical sessions was not enough contestant had to go and a dive in the mud pool. This was probably the most fascinating strategy of the game. The reason behind the mud pool is to bring contestants on the same level so that no one can feel superior or inferior to the other.
The first round of auditions commenced soon after we arrived at camp and the contestants showcased their talents through, songs, dance, poetry and this was a tight competition as it was an elimination round. There were other auditions in the evening, the judge’s panel included Thembelami Moyo, Matthew Masinge and last year first runner up Pamela Dzvinamurungu. After a thrilling performance, the contestants were sent off to their resting dorms where they would be summoned for an early morning exercise breakfast and afterwards there was fear of being eliminated.
By 5 am the coach was already doing his job. There were a lot of exercises scheduled for that day the reason behind the exercise is to make the contestant strong and as an artist you need to be physically and mentally fit. Contestants were curious as they were told to gather their belongings and those that were unfortunate the bus was waiting to ferry them back as it was the end of their road .Unfortunately for those that were eliminated it was devastating. A lot shed tears as they were interviewed they thought they will be in the camp the whole duration of the camp.
Those who had survived the elimination managed to get counseling from Mr Pardon Mutsago a renowned music director .The third day was the most exhausting day for the contestant because there were a lot of activities but as the game entail it is the survival of the fittest. One of the most memorable experiences to the contestants was crossing the Berma Bridge it was not only a scary but also an interesting experience. The bridge is roughly 100m from the ground. Contestants managed to conquer their fear of heights as everyone managed to cross the bridge.
The third day witnessed quite a number of contestants going back home. As usual contestants were told to gather their belonging and those that had their names called were told to go to a pickup point were the bus was waiting to ferry them back to Bulawayo .Seven contestants were instructed to board a bus since they were eliminated but the reverse was true, actually the strategy was that those that were called off as eliminated were in actual fact the ones proceeding to the next round ,finally the strategy came to clarity when the bus came back to collect those that were going home leaving only a few who had what it takes. Only 10 contestants from the singing category remained in the camp the reason was to have vocal training from Mr Pardon Mutsago.
The final day came and the contestants gave an electric performance with many of them showing great signs of improvement on vocal clarity, expression and appearance. They were assigned to compose their own songs which they did very well. The show ended by a speech delivered by the director of StarBrite Mr Mpariwa who thanked the participants for a great show and also thanked various stakeholders who made the event a big success .After all has been done contestants and crew and boarded the buses back to Bulawayo .All the best to those that managed to make it to the semi- finals