31 July, 2012

Ruth Matete Bags Tusker Project Fame Season 5 Finals!

On Sunday 29th July 2012, the curtains came down on the popular East African reality tv musical talent show Tusker Project Fame Season 5 with 26 year old Kenyan Communications graduate Ruth Matete (here's her facebook fanpage) emerging the winner!To a great extent she was hugely popular especially amongst young Kenyans and tipped to win due to her strong voice and Neosoul/RnB songstress prowess.
Whether or not her win will translate into a successful musical career is perhaps what critics are out to watch for as previous winners have hardly left a mark in the musical scene within the region.Will she perhaps change the trend? time will tell.

As a winner Ruth Matete takes home Kenya shillings 5 Million in cash, a 10 Million Kenya shillings recording contract with Universal Group , one year security services from G4S and a whole lot of other freebies.

Her performance in the academy was constant often managing to pull impressive feats with sterling stage performances of the different genre of songs she was put up to.From quite early in the show one could tell that she would make it to the final two.She did not disappoint in that regard!

Her second strongest competition was Rwandan competitor Jackson Kalimba who wowed the crowd with a spectacular performance of Lokua Kanza's song Voir Le Jour which when translated means 'until i see the day' .Earlier in the competition a controversy had simmered in certain circles as to whether Jackson Kalimba qualified as a professional musician prior to the auditions of the show which seeks novel talent.

Jackson Kalimba however ended up being a close third after Kenyan Doreen Muchiri (in my two cents he was better than Doreen hands down) who performed dismally.In my take Doreen though talented goes off to the world with a performance that befits probation.During the show she earned the title "probation queen"-as an artiste she faces the daunting task of avoiding being dubbed the "probation artiste".

Surprisingly,Joe Irankunda of Burundi managed to survive to the top 5 whereas his musical prowess was severely limited.He basically was comedic,lacked vocal appeal but his strategy lasted him in the academy to the last five standing and for that he deserves a measure of congratulations.As to whether he will translate into a successful musician is an enigma of sorts.

Tusker Project Fame Season 5 and Social Media:

What was particularly impressive about Tusker Project Fame Season 5 was perhaps its use of social media i.e,YouTube, Facebook and Twitter(@tuskerlager-my tip next time use  a twitter handle commensurate to the show and not a brand name) to engage the viewers in real time conversations. Selling a brand via social media adheres to different rules as opposed to traditional media.The majority users being the youth want a buzz not a corporate trying to sell them something in such an open manner.

According to the website Hashtracking.com the #tpf5 generated a massive over 70,000 impressions within 24 hours reaching over 56K people indicating the online buzz on the show was gigantic. Samsung Kenya also hyped the show by introducing tablets both in the show performances and in coordinating student tasks during their stay at the Tusker academy.That was significant progress and improvement as compared to past competitions.

TPF & The Future:

The challenge for the organizers is to reinvent the show and take it to a whole new level in the next season. One place that needs to be re-engineered perhaps is the modus operandi of the show ....the whole voting fiasco,the student tasks,the eviction shows to ensure the level of  unpredictability is hyped to a whole new level.Putting three or four contestants on probation each week as a way of eliminating week performers has now been surpassed by time! Re think the concept!

The organizers should also  re model the website....requiring users to input their age, country of origin and subscribe to terms and conditions takes out the beauty of having anything online,unless your website belongs to the r-rated category,that option should have long been discarded.The website also needs prompt updating, live streaming,visual-graphic appeal  and other antics that the internet nowadays offers!

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