Music pundits believe the success of the competition, both during and after, rests in the hands all parties involved.
“It is or supposed to be a partnership set-up where different stakeholders each have a role to play, not one position taken solely by organisers. Even the voters have to hold those they voted for accountable in the event that after winning, they are not doing music, for example.
“However, in our setup, we survive on a gentleman’s deal, but we need a contractual agreement which binds all parties. There are salient features that go with artistic promotion which miss in our competition like strong recording labels that will make winners to be on their toes,” said ethnomusicologist Waliko Makhala.
In Malawi’s case, there are contracts that contestants sign during or after the competition but rather they are bound by house rules that they adhere to.
While acknowledging that, E Wallet project manager Anthony Kafuwa says over the years, the competition has lived up to its objective of unearthing talent in Malawi.
“E wallet is just one of many interventions that need to be in place for music to be nurtured in Malawi. As such, it is entirely up to the contestants to use it as a stepping stone to launching their career in music. Most of the contestants who get in with a purpose have derived the benefit and launched their careers. Some of the people we pride ourselves to have mentored include; Grace Suzumire, Davie Chiwaya, Randy Nansungwi, Aemo Eface, Tigris, Miyanda, Maranatha Katimba, Teddy Maliza and many more,” he explained.
However, he stated that it is impossible to come up with a follow up mechanism as that will mean too much work for them.
“That would give us more obligation like artist management which is a field we are not specialists in as such we would very much like if other record companies borrow a leaf from Nde’feyo Entertainment and sign some of these contestants. With this arrangement I believe there will be easy follow up on their progress,” said Kafuwa.