HIGHLY acclaimed percussionist, music educator and OneBeat fellow Blessing ‘Bled’ Chimanga has partnered with Alliance Francaise Zimbabwe up on a “first-ever purely African music competition” to inspire people to connect with the motherland through music.
The competition, called Celebrate Africa Music Competition 2020, is inviting musically-minded folks across Zimbabwe aged between 16-30 who can play an African instrument and sing in a native African language to sign up.
Any genre, any instrument, and any method of composing are welcome.
The competition rules dictate that entries can perform any song of their choice, but it must be sung in an African vernacular and accompanied by an African instrument, positioning references to local cultures and tradition as an advantage.
Created to launch countless musical careers that show love to the homeland, the contest also comes with a tempting prize. Winner will receive a US$300, 1-year French lessons, and a year-long music scholarship with Winad Music Trust.
Additionally, the winner will have the incredible opportunity of having their song and video recorded for them.
“I’m excited to be hosting and producing this amazing, unique talent search in Zimbabwe. 5th-13th of December we will be celebrating Africa with sound of the African instrument and voices of Africa. Register today and be part of this experience,” Bled said in a Facebook post.
Celebrate Africa Music Competition 2020 auditions will be held in Harare (5-6 December), Bulawayo (7th) and Gweru (8th) with final rounds slated for the 10th and 13th of the same month.
Entries close on the 15 November, and interested parties/individuals can register via Whatsapp on +263719354742 with their full names, the instrument they play, and city.
The while, Chimanga has also teamed up with the Alliance Française de Harare to produce, direct, and host ‘The Music Journey’, an online show interviewing Zimbabwean musicians. The show, the percussionist said, is an opportunity “to understand the artist more, getting to know their journey, the successes, the challenges and the secret behind the artist.”
After the interview, the musicians close with an exclusive live performance.
The show has already featured vocalist-guitarist Tariro neGitare and ethnomusicologist-performer Othnell Moyo.