It’s Only Entertainment (IOE) Management, an entertainment outfit that aims at nurturing young talent and build the Malawian showbiz industry, has launched a talent identification competition, Balaka Got Talent, that will run for five months with the winner going away with MK300,000.
Chief Executive Officer, Noel Chikoleka, who goes by the showbiz name of Phyzix, said the inaugural show held at Mlambe was a massive success which was attended by more than 500 enthusiastic people.
“We invited participants through posters, social media and roadshows,” Phyzix said. “We had 25 participants who registered and performed and 18 made it into second round.
“Entertainers, Phyzix, Barry Uno (Barry Mkorongo) C. Hyphen: and Hyphen (Francis Kaphuka) are the judges and the next show will be end of May,” he said.
He explained that IOE is an entertainment company that was registered in 2009 under ‘Bantu Records Entertainment’.
“It rebranded to ‘It’s Only Entertainment’ in 2016 with the focus to manage artists, producers, music bands, events and other entertainment related activities even sports.
“Management is composed of 12 people in Malawi, one in South Africa and two in the UK. It has business people, technical people, a lawyer, marketers and others.”
“There are some interested sponsors who have already started talking to IOE Management for this Balaka Got Talent and other shows. We are grateful of Nadia Onions, a business lady based in Blantyre but she comes from Balaka for sponsoring the event at MK100,000.”
“What prompted us was that we did a show last year in Balaka and the enthusiasm we received; the interest to work with us, collaborate with us and perhaps help in a way was overwhelming.
“We can’t support everyone. What we have done is create a platform for five months to crown the winner. In the process others are building their confidence and skill. Keeping the youth busy and hopeful
“Nobody in the company is from Balaka but we felt so much love for music when we went there for a show. Am actually from Salima, raised in Lilongwe and based in Blantyre. The show has been self funded. We raised money from our other income generating activities.
“The winner walks away with K300,000, a Collabo with Phyzix, Barry Uno, Hyphen and Waxy Kay as well as a sponsored music video and promo.
“We are also giving out impromptu prizes. For example there were some budding artists whom we were so impressed with and we gave them cash prizes right there and qualified straight to the finals.
“They have been sponsored studio session and we will give them a chance to meet their favourite Malawian artist.
“In the past, we have done this in Mzuzu, Karonga, Lilongwe in Area 25 and Area 24, Bangwe and The Shack in Lilongwe as Bantu Records before we rebranded
“First event was last year on 25 November 2017 at Modern Park. Phyzix, Martse and Kell Kay performed. It was at night and jam packed,” Phyzix said.
He said the talents being showcases are music and dance: “The music is for the competition. Dancers showcasing skills and doing battles as part of spicing the event and giving them a platform.”
Organiser on the ground is Aglipa Pupa, IOE Project Manager.