MASERU — The search for Lesotho’s next big star has begun.
At least 800 aspiring musicians descended on Maseru last week for auditions in the search for Lesotho’s next music superstar.
The talent search is part of an ambitious programme by Vodacom Lesotho to help Basotho musicians turn their dreams into reality.
The aspiring musicians gathered at the Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA) premises for the auditions.
Vodacom teams shot videos of the artistes’ performances which will be wsubmitted to a panel of judges next month.
The judges are set to select the Top 20 finalists whose music will be recorded and promoted on local radio stations.
The Top Five finalists, who will share the stage with celebrated musician Tshola, will compete for the coveted crown of Vodacom Superstar.
The winner of the grand prize will walk away with M100 000 cash and a recording deal worth M50 000.
The second prize winner will get a cash prize of M60 000 while the third placed artist will pocket M30 000.
The fourth and fifth placed winners will walk away with M10 000 each.
All Top 20 finalists will get M2 000 each and Vodacom hampers.
Vodacom marketing coordinator, Sekonyela Matamane, told XpressPeople on Friday that there had been great response from aspiring musicians across the country.
“We have been travelling to all the country’s 10 districts to collect footage of the auditions and judges will evaluate the participants based on what they see on the videos,” Matamane said.
He said the competition will assess musicians in five genres of Famo, Hip hop, R’n B, Gospel and Kwaito.
“From all the five genres that are to be contested, gospel proved to be the most popular and dominant in all the covered districts,” Matamane said.
He said most of the participants appeared to have been driven by the monetary prize and not love of music.
Several musicians who have been nominated for the Lesotho Haeso Music Awards in the past also participated at the auditions.
One of these was Ramosa Bosiu, a well-known gospel artiste. Bosiu said musicians were quite desperate and will participate in every competition that promised them a financial reward.
“We are very desperate,” Bosiu said.
“Any competition that promises money and a recording deal is a dream come true for every artiste in Lesotho.”
He added: “We are broke. No one appears to care about our talent and our intellectual property (music) so when a competition like this one comes around we jump at the opportunity.”
Famo artiste, Refiloe Lethoko, said if he wins the competition he is going to help other aspiring musicians to build and develop the industry.
“I have four albums but it feels like I am not a musician because I am not like other artistes from other countries who survive on their talents. If I win I am going to make a difference in our local industry,” Lethoko said.
He congratulated Vodacom Lesotho for coming up with such a competition.
Hip hop artiste, Skebza D, said: “I am going to try my luck because an opportunity has presented itself.”