Six contestants from the capital city Lilongwe have made it into the Top 10 of the 2016 Airtel Trace Music Star competition.
Airtel Malawi on Tuesday revealed names of aspirants who have qualified for the next phase of the multimillion kwacha singing contest.
Blantyre has contributed three candidates, while the old capital Zomba has only one representative.
The contenders from Lilongwe are Triza Chatata, Ruth Kulaisi who is also a television personality working with Zodiak TV, Chisomo Theteka, Sigela Akimu, Paul Kachala and Chigonjetso Katengeza.
The commercial city is being represented by Madalitso Fazili, Verrie Ngoma and Esther Chitheka who alongside Fazili are backup vocalists for gospel musician Faith Mussa.
Kalista Kalele, a singer who featured rappers Gwamba and BarryOne in the songs Tikakumane Kumadzi and Automatic, respectively, is the only candidate representing Zomba.
Thousands auditioned via mobile phones to try their luck in the competition whose winner at national level will walk away with a whopping K10 million (about $14 739).
Some of the known casualties are afro pop musician Tigris, Mizu Band vocalist and E-Wallet contender Eunice Kadzuwa Mhango, singer Lilia, poet Yolanda Kaluma, Sunbird Search for a Star 2015 winner MacLuther Mambala and E-Wallet contender Gray, who is also a broadcaster at FM 101.
From the Top 10, five participants will be eliminated this Sunday, 24 April, at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre, before the grand finals on May 7 in Lilongwe where the judges will decide the top three spots.
The first runner up will go home K3 million (about $4 421) richer while the second runner up will walk away with K2 million (about 2 947).
Apart from the K10 million ultimate prize, the overall winner will automatically qualify for the pan-African grand finale slated to take place in Lagos, Nigeria, on a date to be announced.
Before the final show, the national representatives will have an opportunity to meet and be mentored by American R&B superstar Keri Hilson.
Apart from mentorship, the winner will also record a song with Keri Hilson and star in their own music video alongside the US mega Knock You Down songstress.
The winner will also receive a signed contract with a major music label and worldwide media exposure through various Trace platforms.
Airtel Trace Music Star participating countries are DRC, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Niger, which is the newest territory to enter Season 2 of the biggest pan-African talent search competition. n