In light of recent revelations that Rwanda's Jackson Kalimba may indeed already be a professional musican, having released a song which is available on Youtube, Endemol Kenya Limited, the brains behind the region's premier reality TV talent show, Tusker Project Fame, released a statement last week clearing the air.
Endemol Kenya sought to assure contestants and fans that the Tusker Project Fame 5 team and the organisers are committed to delivering a level field for all contestants.
“Our attention has been drawn to an ongoing discussion on the inclusion of Kalimba, a 25-year-old Rwandan national in the fifth edition of Tusker Project Fame (TPF5),” the statement reads, going on, “In these discussions it is alleged that Kalimba is a professional musician, the evidence adduced being a musical video posted online.
“We take this early opportunity to assure all contestants, past and present, as well as music fans across the Eastern Africa region that the TPF team and the organisers are firmly committed to delivering a level field for all contestants selected to participate in this regionally acclaimed talent search without any form of bias,” the staement adds.
“Based on the facts on records, Jackson has not previously had opportunity to record an album and advance his musical career and therefore is competing on an exactly equal platform like the other contestants in TPF5.
The reference to his online video does not therefore bar him from proving his skills for this once in lifetime chance to become a fully recognised professional artiste,” said Endemol.
“Kalimba was cleared to participate in the fifth edition of Tusker Project Fame after Endemol Kenya Limited certified that he did not qualify as a professional musician. While he has an independently produced music video online, there is no evidence to prove that he has earned an income from this nor does he have any recording contract to warrant his classification as an established professional artiste.”