Youth talent shines bright as a star

2019-07-02 06:01
Night of the Stars’ pageant winners.

Night of the Stars’ pageant winners.

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The annual Night of the Stars talent show and beauty pageant is a flagship event of the Retreat Civic Centre’s mid-year school holiday programme, targeted at vulnerable youth living in Lotus River, Lavender Hill, Seawinds, Retreat, Steenberg, Pelican Park, Ottery and Coniston Park.

This event, aimed at attracting youth to the City’s Recreation Hubs and for them to sign up for a variety of positive recreational activities depending on their interests, took place on Friday 21 June.

Performing arts was added to the holiday programme schedule, as a result of staff listening to the needs and identifying the individual talents of participants. Months of practise all culminated into one spectacular annual event, which has been recognised by the community for boosting the self-confidence of participants.

“The City of Cape Town created this opportunity for young people by providing a platform to showcase their talent and to live their dream. We have many young people who have the natural talent to become performers but don’t have opportunities. With a little bit of coaching and an audience, they can improve their skills. Participating in a show can be a stepping stone to a career in modelling or in the entertainment world,” said the Mayco member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien.

This year, about 500 people braved the stormy weather to get front row seats to the fantastic display of fashion, talent, and entertainment.

In total, there were 42 models and 25 entertainers between the ages of 13 and 25. Each participant was allowed to bring two guests and the support received was amazing.

A modelling agency came on board to assist with choreography for the fashion show, and a local talent scouting agency attended the event, in search of new talent.

A few hair salons from the community also sponsored free hair styling services (for boys and girls), and wherever there was a need, local businesses contributed various items of clothing.

Badroodien said for many young people, the opportunity to participate in a fashion show means a lot for their self-esteem and building confidence and character which will assist them in becoming responsible citizens. “But the show is also about having fun, which we sometimes don’t have time for. The event also builds community cohesion as a lot of young participants made their parents and family members proud. It’s also an opportunity for the local community to get together.

“The level of cooperation and partnership motivated City staff, who commit many hours and much passion into planning this event every year, including organising of transport, catering, prizes, security, sound and lighting, practise sessions, choreography, costume planning and imparting life skills. I would like to thank the event organisers, but also the participants for having the courage in showing their confidence. Without them, the show would not have been possible,” added Badroodien.

In the coming week, City staff at the Retreat Civic recreation hub will be hosting workshops and focus groups with the youth, to establish how to improve the event going forward.

The pageant winners were, Queen, Chantalle Davids, with Zhandre Sias as first princess and Erin Delport as second princess. Diego Zutphen was King of the pageant with Reece Williams as first prince and Elijah Coleman as second prince.

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