E-Wallet, Malawi’s music sole talent search show, has a huge task to live to its billing as one of the projects which seeks to the bar of local talent.
But speaking at a press briefing at Blantyre’s Malawi Sun Hotel yesterday, E-Wallet chairperson Felix Njawala said the project was striving to incorporate a local touch through different innovations.
This is against the background that E-Wallet has mostly been associated with urban culture through its emphasis on foreign music, a development which questioned its credibility as a local initiative.
Added to that, none of the winners of the talent show have capitalised on the local music since its establishment, revealing grey areas of Malawi’s cultural representation and value of arts.
“We have deliberate efforts in place to ensure that contestants connect with E-Wallet as Malawian product. We have lined up activities such as Malawi Night where we want contestants to appreciate Malawian culture through strict performances of local music. This approach is based on the assumption that one day E-Wallet will produce a winner through playing a local flavour,” said Njawala.
Meanwhile, E-Wallet has partnered with Zodiak Television, which officially revealed its contribution of car prize to this year’s winner, a Nissan Tiida.
“Zodiak TV has partnered with E-Wallet because the scope of the show is in line with our core values as far as the promotion of local talent is concerned. The contract includes broadcasting partnership where Zodiak TV will cover the proceedings and beam them,” said Africano Phiri, Zodiak TV’s director of commercial affairs.
According to Phiri, Zodiak TV has the exclusive rights to the show and other broadcasters can only beam the show after a 48 hour delay.
He added that the broadcast of the E-Wallet show will be interactive with active involvement of viewers who will be voting for their favourite contestants.
Asked about the practicality of local music featuring as winning song for contestants at this year’s E-Wallet, judge Dumisani Mfune said chances were there.
“Elements of the music are the same. What we look into a song is clarity, rhythm and melody among other key issues. So local music stand a chance of being a winning factor,” said Mfune.
He, however, bemoaned lack of identity and presentation of local music as major setback which frustrate its frequent use by contestants at such platform as E-Wallet.
“We need to define Malawi music so that it competes well with other types of music from western countries which are mostly sang by contestants,” said Mfune.
With 14 contestants selected for this year’s showpiece, the action rolls out on October 24 at M-Theatre Cinema at Chichiri Shopping Mall. It will run for 12 weeks with six shows on the line up.