Bulawayo has long been praised for being the cultural hub of Zimbabwe. Great musicians and artists come from the city of kings, the likes of the legendary maestro Lovemore Majaivana, the classic Cool Crooners, the breath-taking to watch Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts (Iyasa) and a long list of both young and old talented creatives from Bulawayo.
There various reasons why the current crop of artists and musicians are finding it hard to operate in Bulawayo and Zimbabwe. The unity of the artist of Bulawayo is not visible. Yes! Of course we have seen and see the formation of various artist associations in Bulawayo but their efforts are fruitless. These associations are dummies or what some might call toothless bulldogs. In these associations more talk and less action is visible. In addition young and upcoming artists are demeaned for reasons, I do not know, maybe the big guys feel like the young are a threat to them.
In addition the demise of the Bulawayo artist has been attributed to the artist neglecting his prime audience which is the people of Bulawayo. The music content at times lacks creativity, originality and quality. This leads to the masses in Bulawayo diving into South African music and neglecting their own.
Moreover the local artist talks about making money through music when the masses do not know he or she exists, when the songs do not depict real life stories affecting the masses in Bulawayo. Existing on the web and having many fans is good but when you are too active on the web and do not operate, take time to connect with your people on the ground, you are bound to be stuck. Music is all about the people, people want to associate with empathy, originality, quality and creativity.
Bulawayo has so much potential when it comes to the arts and music. The ball is in the court of the artist; the artist should stop complaining about various aspects and start to be solution oriented. The other key point to note is unity; all artists should put their egos aside and unite, working towards expanding the Bulawayo arts sector. They should see a positive in every negative aspect slowing down their progress. It’s time to change the score card.