Walter Chilambo defeated four other singers to win the Epiq Bongo Star Search (BSS) title at the final session held at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam on Friday night.
Walter started in a slow note and kept on gaining momentum as the event continued.
Walter was overcome with emotional joy immediately he was announced the winner. The singer collapsed into the floor and was helped up by chief judge Rita Paulsen as he fought back tears.
He staved off strong competition from Salama Abushir and Wababa Mtuka who finished second and third, respectively.
Walter was awarded Sh50m and also stands to benefit from a year-long free studio time recording offer from the event’s sponsors, Zantel.
“As you all can agree, for the past six months we have invested so much to make sure we get the real music star. We are sure the winner of this night will make us all proud,” said Madam Rita.
On his part, Zantel chief commercial officer, Sajid Khan urged music stakeholders to support those who have participated in the show as they have shown great potential.
“Developing these youths requires joint efforts by all stakeholders, thus we are asking stakeholders to take up from where we have left. We will record a song for all the top 12 but that won’t be enough for sure,” said Khan.
The contest was coloured by performances from Rich Mavoko, Omi Dimpozi, Ben Paul, Lina, Amini, Barnaba, Mzee Yusuph, Haji Ramadhan, Ditto, Laila Rashid and Linex.
Only time will tell though if Walter manages to carve out a musical career and further stardom outside the Epiq BSS academy confines.
The event is produced by Benchmark Productions and has become a household show in East Africa since its premier in 2006, with viewership of more than three million for every episode.