The global phenomenon that is the ‘Got Talent’ reality TV show, the brainchild of critically acclaimed British critic and Idols judge Simon Cowell, is finally setting foot on East African soil, following Tanzanian media conglomerate, Clouds Media announcement today of the inaugural season of ‘East Africa’s Got Talent’. The show will be shot in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
Sponsored by Safaricom PLC, East Africa’s Got Talent will be adapted for the regional market in partnership with Freemantle SYCO, an arm of Cowell’s global SYCOtv company, and Rapid Blue Productions from South Africa.
The “Got Talent” franchise was started in 2014 by Simon Cowell and often sees acts ranging from the sublime to the ridiculou,s battle it out for a chance to be crowned, in this case, the most talented East African.
While it was admittedly peculiar seeing all the political backing at this launch, with 2 cabinet secretaries (of ICT and Culture), as well as the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya’s Film Classification Board, it’s a welcome indication that the government may be more cognizant of the fact that the entertainment industry is of vital importance to more than the economy – but also the very fabric and consciousness of society.
“We are excited to bring this show to East Africa and give performers of any kind a chance to showcase their talent and tell the East African story through song, comedy, traditional music instruments and magic. We would like to thank Safaricom and all our other partners for coming on board and playing a part in discovering the next generation of talent from East Africa,” said Joseph Kusaga, CEO, Clouds Media International.
Auditions for the show will kick off in Kenya in May, with pre-auditions in Nairobi on 11th and 12th May 2019 at the Kenyatta International Convention Center and on 19th May 2019 at Nyali School in the coastal city of Mombasa, before moving on to Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. The show, due to start airing in August this year, will have 10 episodes, with the semifinals and grand finalé shot live on location in Kenya.
Qualified participants from Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda will travel to Kenya for the Live shows. The winner will walk away with USD 50,000 (KES 5,000,000) as voted by the audience.
“Got Talent” is the world’s most successful reality TV format ever and has since spawned spin offs in close to 60 countries, including Nigeria and South Africa. The “Got Talent” format has had more than 900 million global viewers since it began airing in 2006 and has aired in 194 markets worldwide.
It is open to performers of any kind, including singers, dancers, instrumentalists, magicians, comedians and novelty acts. Ugandan comedian Anne Kansiime has been announced as the host. Judges will be announced at a later date.