Dreamstar is hosted by Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation (JCMC) in partnership with Chinese Embassy and China Zimbabwe Exchange Centre.
Life & Arts

Dreamstar to empower communities

By Beaven Dhliwayo

DREAMSTAR, a local talent search show, has been able to maintain consistency and relevance over the past years, as well as produce artistes who are doing well in the arts sector.

Started by Steve Zivanai Zhao in 2014, the show has been doing well in empowering many youths in realising and growing their talents, as well as advancing with their education through scholarships.

Dreamstar is hosted by Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation (JCMC) in partnership with Chinese Embassy and China Zimbabwe Exchange Centre.

In an interview with the Daily News, Zhao said the show is no longer about talent search but now an initiative to unite the peoples of Zimbabwe and China.

“Since 1996 when I started to live in this country, my passion has strongly been about emancipating local artistes in Zimbabwe and help them spread their culture to other countries through music, dance and other talents. Now we want to build a strong bond among our nations whilst empowering the youths,” he said.

“My desire is to build a strong arts industry where artistes can develop and enjoy the fruits of their work through this exchange program when they meet with established Chinese artists from across the world.”

Over the years, Zhao said the unity between China and Zimbabwe have been greatly enhanced through these arts and culture programmes.

“To date, over 100 Dreamstar finalists have travelled to China since and performed in various provinces in China.

“The most interesting part is that some of previous finalists whom we travelled with on the culture exchange program are now working full-time. Through the programs, Zimbabwean artist have made connections that have significantly changed their lives and that of their loved ones back home.

“Some continue to pursue their musical careers while others have diversified. As the Chinese community we strongly believe that the arts are the soul of the nation, hence it should be treated with the value it deserves.”

Zhao has pledged to continue helping the young talented artistes so that they achieve better.

“As Dreamstar, we believe in consistent mentorship of our winners. We sign them with our Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation studios. Soon we are registering a Trust that will help fund these young artists so they realise their dreams.

“Dreamstar is here to stay and we continue to encourage young people never to give up on their dreams and talent.

Dreamstar has produced artistes who are making names for themselves, among them musician Nyasha David, presenter and singer Nomagugu Nyce Ncube, Fusion 5 Mangwiro, dance group Sesfikile and beat boxers Probeats and Tafara Dondo.

CZEC is a private voluntary organisation with the mandate of contributing to the development of the country through sustainable projects such as scholarships, community development and cementing China-Zimbabwe relations.

The programme gained steam with the support of the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe and funding from the Chinese community in Zimbabwe with the thrust of giving back to the community as part of corporate social responsibility.

The CZEC is involved in community development programmes especially in Mbare and Mabvuku in Harare and in Bulawayo where it is supporting local residents to get training for self-capacitation in many fields.

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