Launched by Talent Africa, MTN Uganda, House of DJs, Uganda Tourism Board, NBS TV among other partners in April, 2021, the Pearl of Africa Star Search has been running for two months now.
It was started out as an initiative to discover new talented Ugandan voices and attracted participation of 2000 submissions from all over the country who sent their audition clips via the website and Whatsapp.
The second round of auditions was physically held at Talent Africa Group’s Studios (TAG), giving the 50 selected contestants the opportunity to present before the judges Cindy, Navio, Joanita Kawalya, among others.
Contestants were grouped into huddles of 5 each according to regions of participation and later a retreat which saw 8 of the contestants dropped, leaving only 12 who made it to the bootcamp. While there, they got the opportunity of a lifetime- to write, and record songs as well as shoot videos for their originals; while featuring Celebrity Project judges for each team.
With center focus being promoting tourism, the 4track Playlist features as released under Talent Africa Group’s TAG Imprint consists 4-tracks;
“Take Me There” featuring Cindy; as the Celebrity Judge & Mentor to contestants Eric Bikaba, Patricia Muwanguzi, Uthman Kasirye, Ibrahim Balunywa aka E’brahim Soul’O and Alan Watikha aka Trigger cuts across R&B, Dancehall and Hip hop in Lugisu, Lusoga, Luganda and English. On the 4minute 27second record, Cindy brings her full element to the intro, singing about her love for a man from the Eastern Mountains. Her diction would make any man envious of the guy in question.
With a chorus sang in Acholi and Swahili, and contestant solo verses in English, Acholi and Lugbara lines, “Oh Uganda” as presented by the team of magnificent contestants from Northern Uganda (Ucanda Pearl, Moro Francis, Onono Eric, Opakorwot David and Agami Tony) was recorded in the TAG mobile studio and mixes urban contemporary beats and folk sound. With a keen listen, you can hear sounds of calabashes (as commonly used in the Lakaraka dance).
Joanita Kawalya and Ray G connect with the Western Uganda contestants (Lowenna Barungi, Joan Abaasa, Bruce Dickson, Mark Musasizi and Brian Aliddeki) on folk title “Mwijje” which is loosely translated to “Come”. The ‘Eizooba’ singer makes an intro in the famous Ankole poetry recitation style, inviting people to visit the Pearl of Africa gives the song a unique touch, with an outstanding whistling amidst the array of traditional instruments. The verses are done in a mix of Kinyankole, Swahili and English, calling upon people from all over the world to come and experience the beauty of Uganda.
The fourth and final release enlists Navio and Lydia Jasmine who heap praise on Uganda’s Capital on a title “Kampala Kyekyo”. They join the Central stars/ contestants Joel Kisakye, Carsten Yesuamala, Maggie Wandeka, Sandra Nansambu and Tracy Mirembe. Everyday slangs are heavily heard in here; sang in both languages Luganda and English dialects as mostly used in Kampala-town as the singers details the beauty of the city.
The accompanying visuals for each of these records were shot in Game drive sessions in areas of Murchison Falls National Park, Sipi Falls, the scenic Aruu falls, Queen Elizabeth National Game Park, Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, TAG Studios, the Kampala Sheraton gardens and the Independence Monument along Speke Road.
In real essence, each of these music videos is a call to action that hints to travelers, far and wide, to come and visit Uganda and experience the hospitality, culture, wildlife, infrastructural development, heritage, weather, Music, Dance, Food & fashion. Visit the POA Star Website to watch them scenic music videos to all four songs and also vote for your favorite contestants as voting closes August 1st 2021.
Only 1 contestant will be crowned as the winner of the grand prize worth Ugx. 60 Million. Ugandan Shillings, a prize that is inclusive of a cash prize, recording contract, music video production, professional talent management, collaborations with famous artists and destination trips.
The Pearl Of Africa Star Search is a 10 weeks Reality Show that airs on Sunday at 7:45PM on NBS TV and is sponsored by The Ministry of Tourism, Wild Life and Antiquities, Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda Wildlife Authority, MTN, Coca Cola, NBS, Talent Africa, Radiant, Graphic Systems, House of DJs, Uganda Talent Management Association, TAG Studios, Uganda Musicians Association and Uganda-The Pearl Of Africa.
Listen to the EP below: