The E-Wallet Talent Show finally came to an end on Saturday with a grand finale in Blantyre which saw 17-year-old Wakhumbachi Kaluwa grabbing the K500,000 wallet after she beat 11-year-old Taonga Kanthungo and 29-year-old Guise Pemba.
The event has been praised by several quarters for unearthing talent. Some of the exposed talents, such as Tigris, have gone on to produce their own albums.
However, despite talking about some of the positives, some fans who have followed the event which returned to the fold after a six year hiatus have questioned the credibility of the voting process which they said needs to be reworked to be fair to the contestants.
The fans feel the organisers did not do well in some instances on voting going further back to some evictions which they said saw some contestants being booted out unfairly.
"The show has run well but they need to review the voting process. It needs to be credible and they need to make it fair on selecting the winner. For instance the concept of bringing rap, dance and singers was good but how do you judge them together," questioned Nancy Kazembe.
She noted that some of the dancers were very good and could have made it to the finale but were judged together with singers and rappers which made things difficult.
"I think there is need for separation on this next time. Again during evictions there were so many anomalies, it was like some evictions were fixed. The E-Wallet brand is getting big and it is only through transparency that it can attract more and more attention," said Kazembe.
Andy Matola described the event as good but called on the organisers to clearly spell out its aims as it has not fully involved the other talents in the rural areas.
"There are talented singers out there but they have not been reached and by failing to attract those people then they are missing the point. I am looking at someone coming to show his talent all the way from Chitipa but at the moment we are only scratching on the surface," he said.
Matola also zeroed in on the failure by the organisers to plan the event properly saying this year it reached a point where there was no clear direction.
"The show needs planning, the people involved have done so well but they need to put in clear initiatives on how the event is going to move. This year, so many changes came up, I know there was talk of events clashing but once something is planned, they need not change," he said.
Siphiwe Kachingwe also pointed out that the organisers lost direction on the way because of some companies which came in at the eleventh hour.
"Some companies just came in late after seeing that things were now hitting the finale. I think the organisers need to pick serious companies which would run with them from the beginning to the end. It's not fair for them to join late and then make the organisers dance to their tune. Of course, they need support but the corporate world should learn to come in even before the event starts," said Kachingwe.
Chairman of the organising team Felix Njawala said the biggest challenge they had this year was funding, pointing out that they started the event on their own and that they failed to run on the initial budget of K34 million.
"We agree with some of the issues that people have raised, some have said we need to go as far as the rural areas to do scouting but this only works when you have resources. This year we moved with what we had and actually our plan is that a winner should be getting not less than K2 million so that we have much competition but we do not have enough funding," said Njawala.
On the voting process, Njawala said they were satisfied saying the decisions are made by the judges and the people.
"For instance during the finale, it was the people who contributed 50 percent and then judges 50 percent so we had an independent decision. We have taken heed of some of the issues raised and we will work on them," he said.