The StarBrite finals for the 2016 season were held on the 6th and 7th of January 2017 at Family of God church (F.O.G) Preparations for the finals started with a three day bootcamp at Masiye camp. The bootcamp was for rehearsals for the finals. It was a lot different from the previous boot camps with the number of contestants a lot smaller- just the finalists, the band, the music director and the StarBrite crew.
On the first day of the finals, the contestants had to give a performance; a tribute in honor of the late Simon Chopper Chimbetu. Simon’s songs are not exactly the easiest especially with the young generation but the finalists managed to deliver a superb performance. Poets were reciting their poems paying tribute to Chimbetu. Dancers had to match their dances to that of the Dendera band. Amongst the songs that were performed were Dai ndakadzidza, one way and ndaremerwa. The Panel of judges on the first night included news anchor Merylin Ngwenya, musician Peace Ndlovu (Baba Shupi), published author Munyaradzi Gunduza; dance instructor Tinashe Muza and professional marketer Taka Gumbo. The judges did not have it easy in selecting contestants for the next round. The first performance was crucial as more elimination were to follow soon after the first round of performances. The night was night was full of surprises; the audience was treated to some superb dendera music bringing back memories from the 90s. It was a double edged sword indeed as the brilliant performances were soon followed by eliminations. It was heartbreaking to see some acts cut off a day before the last day. It was really sad to say good bye to some and some lived to fight another day.
The second night of the finals presented a different set of challenges for the finalists. The singers’ challenges were to combine 5 different songs and give a 10 minutes performance. The poets had an equally challenging task. Dancers were no exception had also a 10 minutes performance. Contestants rose to the challenge and gave their all in their presentations. It was indeed a night to remember. The second day’s panel of judges included Merylin Ngwenya, Peace Ndlovu (Baba Shupi), Munyaradzi Gunduza, Tinashe Muza. Hon. Tshinga Dube was the finals guest of honor. Wise words from the Honorable minister applauded all the finalists for a job well done. Well done to the StarBrite team for organizing such a successful event whose efforts are helping talented Zimbabweans to realize their dreams. To the losers he encouraged them to keep trying until they get it right.
The 2016 finals were exhilarating as the contestants were presented with numerous challenges. They were outstanding; performances were out of this world. Indeed the Starbrite brand is growing in leaps and bounds. After all was said and done StarBrite season 5 came to an end with some celebrating the New Year in style as winners of the show. The StarBrite 2016 season came up with four winners, Millicent Chapwanya and Lisa Sibanda from Masvingo, both are poets, the other 2 from singing category, Petros from Bulawayo and the overall winner Bright Shumba from Kuwadzana.StarBrite 2016 winner Bright Shumba walked away with a residential stand, Scholarship to cross roads school of music, $1000, 20 000 bricks, and a holiday voucher, a tablet phone from G-tel. The runner up Petros Zimuto won a holiday voucher to Vic Falls, Tablet phone from G-Tel. Millicent also won a holiday voucher $200 and a tablet phone from G-Tel. The rest of the top 5 got $50 each from Hon. Tshinga Dube.
Indeed it was their time to shine It is a story of dreams. Dreams from those who dared to follow their aspirations, some facing huge challenges and made sacrifices, they dared to try and now they are enjoying the fruits of their hard work, it’s only the beginning but they are stars who will continue to shine until they are celebrated the world over. That is the StarBrite story.
Special thanks go to the following that have made StarBrite a reality