The winner of this year’s Bongo Star Search (BSS) will be awarded Sh50m, it has been announced.
Benchmark Productions managing director Rita Poulsen said on Friday night at the launch of the contest that the sum will be provided by Zantel, the event’s man sponsor.
Ms Poulsen said Zantel remain the sole sponsor of the home grown singing contest, and this year’s event will be known as Epiq Bongo Star Search (EBSS).
The lady who is also the chief judge of the contest could not say when the search will start, noting only that the event will start as soon as possible. She also said under the new sponsorship age limit for contestants has been reduced from 18 to 16 years.
She said they had reduced the age limit given that more youths seek that opportunity to showcase their talents.
Ms Poulsen also disclosed that for the first time in history of the search the top winner will be facilitated to record a song.
“This will be a big boost to the local music industry as our past winners were being left idle at the end of the search,” she said, noting that vibrant sponsorship will give the contest a new look and improve the local music arena.
She said that this year’s auditions will be extended to eight regions namely Zanzibar, Lindi, Mbeya, Mwanza, Arusha, Tanga, Dodoma and Dar es Salaam.
In his remarks, Zantel Vice President for commercial operations, Ahmed Mokhles said his company through Epiq Nation brand is happy to be associated with BSS, which is focusing on discovering and promoting youth talents in the country.
He also promised to make the search more interesting.
At the same function, Benchmark Productions awarded certificates to musicians who contributed to the success of the BSS in the past years. They are Mwasiti Almas, Dotto Amin, Patricia Hilary, Rachel, Dully Sykes , Juma Kakere, Linex, King Kiki , Marlow and Banana Zorro.
Last year’s BSS winner Haji Ramadhani (pictured) was awarded Sh40m.