Youth Burn-Up Talent to share K100,000 in prizes!
Lusaka, Zambia / By Andrew-Knox B. Kaniki
Winner of the 2019 and 2020 Theatre, in the Talent Show, Praise Mirriam Kanganjo, was this year outdone by Emmanuel Mwanza ‘Ukwimi’. Kanganjo aged 20, gave it her very best, performing an exceptional one-person theatrical stage act, of a young girl called ‘Kevin’ who dies in a road accident. She then immediately loses her soul and finds herself in hell, without notice. Kanganjo had won the past two consecutive years for her theatrical performance, and was aiming for a third, but could not convince the judges hard enough and the category prize for the year 2021 going to ‘Ukwimi’ led by Emmanuel Mwanza with a duo performance of ‘Where Is God’.
The Talent Show, hosted annually at the end of the year by the Alliance Française de Lusaka, attracts more than 350 applications, bringing together close to 500 people from various artistic genres. It is regarded as the go-show-your-talent event, for its consistent attractive prizes, and successful hosting of talents in the country so far. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take effect, restrictive measures for public events since its inception have seen numbers of events put off, with a drop from 35 to 17 final contestants and a little more than 100 guests from the annual target of 300 people in the Talent Show.
“We are proud to host you at our third Talent Show, as we welcome both new and old talent from across Zambia and not just Lusaka. This show would not be made possible, later on, successful without the support of our sponsors, but most importantly the talent that brings us all here today, and of course you, our valued guests here to watch, support, and encourage such great talent” said the Director of Alliance Française de Lusaka, Naïl Muniglia.
With 5 slots and 4 categories namely Dance, Theatre, Music, and Spoken Word, the winners walked away with K4,000 cash each, an opportunity to learn French, free workshop and mentoring, as well as an opportunity to exclusively use the Alliance Française de Lusaka facilities for a show at any time valid up to 30th November 2022, bringing the total value to close to K20,000 each.
It has been a difficult two years for artists, and institutions, with the COVID-19 taking a toll over many things including such display of talent, skill, and any form of performance. However, with institutions such as the Alliance Française that continue to promote safe social and cultural events within strict COVID-19 guidelines, it is likely that such talent can and will get a safe public view and attract continued support.
Among the winners was Zatu Cultural Group winning in the Dance category, with a very aggressive and breathtaking fiery act that kept the audience and judges at the edge of their seats. Eating and blowing fire, like candy; the vibrant stage performance even had one man pounding three bricks on the belly of another man laying flat on the ground, while others performed an act that seemed like a casual fire battle between two dancers as their ladies danced around them singing and chanting local village rhythms. Other winners include Kelly Zulu on Visual Arts, Dani Musiwa; Music, and Vanessa Chilufya taking the Spoken Word category prize. The Jury Prize went to Wezi Botha for her one-person stage act.
Also speaking at the event, the talent show judge, dancer, and Brand Ambassador Namu J asked all participants to consider themselves winners because they had all performed exceptionally and needed to be encouraged for being selected as finalists.
“You are all winners, and you need to be proud of that. You have all displayed great talent, and I will be honest to say that though you may not all get the K4,000 your worth is much more than that. So, don’t look at the money you’ve not won today, but the value of your individual acts and talents displayed today. Continue to perfect that”, Namu said while addressing the participants.
And in closing the event, Naïl Munigilia, Director of the Alliance Française thanked the winners and everyone involved in the project pointing out that ‘with such talent, Zambia has a bright present and future, and thus everyone should recognize their value, foster training, and inspire collaborations more than ever’. “We believe in Zambian Talent”, Muniglia noted in closing.
The Alliance Française de Lusaka continues to promote formidable cross-cultural exchange and has in the last 3 years spent over K100,000 in prizes and support of end-of-year talent shows that attract people from all walks of life. Winners in each category walked away with cash prizes and vouchers in the form of incentives valid for a year.
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