MASERU — After changing their brand to red, Vodacom Lesotho has initiated a talent search project for aspiring music stars.
The telecommunications company wants talented Basotho to take the lead and make their artistic dreams come true.
There are also great prizes to be won.
Vodacom’s managing executive Tsabiso Letsoela told Xpress People they would be working with veteran musician Tshepo Tshola who will act as a mentor to the budding musicians.
“We observed there is vast talent in music in this country which lacks financing so we initiated a competition called Vodacom Superstar that will run throughout the country,” Letsoela said.
Winners will win cash prizes while the grand winner will get an additional recording deal.
“We will be working with Ntate Tshepo Tshola helping the artistes deal with the pressure of being in the limelight.”
The competition will focus on Famo, Hip hop, R’n B, Gospel and Kwaito.
The grand prize for the competition is M100 000 cash and a recording deal worth M50 000.
The second prize is M60 000, while the third prize winner will walk away with M30 000.
The fourth and fifth winners will get M10 000 each.
“The rest of the Top 20 finalists will each walk home with consolation prizes and M2 000 cash,” Letsoela said.
Registration started on April 14 and closes on May 4.
Auditions will be held between May 6 and 28 throughout the country.
Letsoela said: “Entries are done only via Short Message Service (Sms). One should send their name, surname and their district to 54555 to be part of this exciting competition.”
“The competition is open for anyone who thinks they have talent, whether they have recorded before or are first-timers from all ages,” he said.
“The project will be undertaken in Lesotho for Basotho by Basotho. This is a hundred percent Basotho project.
“Recording is going to take place in the country and judges will be Basotho with expertise in music but the panel is yet to be finalised and announced.”
Letsoela said the top 20 finalists will get a chance to record a single that will be voted for by the public to determine the top five.
“The superstar hunt will go to all the 10 districts to ensure that everybody with singing and music aspirations has a chance.
“Top 20 finalists who will be chosen from the bulk of contenders will record a single that will be promoted on local radio stations and television,” he said.
“The top five will then face a crucial stage of judgment during the finals of the competition in selecting the grand winner.”
Letsoela said the initiative was one way of trying to give back to the community.
“This is an attempt to give back to the community and building an aspect that will help society. Our music has proven to have potential to blossom,” he said.
Letsoela said although there is no association to protect the rights of musicians in the country, Vodacom was just lending a hand where needed.
“We don’t want to wait until those in authority establish a music rights association. This is where we start and when things finally fall in place, at least we would have started,” he said.
Finals are expected to be held at the end of next month.
“The finals will be hosted end of June with the date and venue to be confirmed later.”