Growing as a young boy in the streets of Nketa 7 in Bulawayo I used to be a fan of good music, though I hadn’t discovered that I was a musician well I was quite musical. Bulawayo being one of the best places to live because of it outstanding hospitality and peace, I’ve watched the Zimbabwe music industry grow so rapidly over the past decades and we witnessed the birth or should I say a mushrooming of artists all over the country.
Lets Talk Muzik
It was a phenomenon to witness so much talent unearthed. During that time I followed carefully a number of artists from different regions and their general progress. What happened was so amazing, recording studios became so lucrative for a while as aspiring musicians flooded them.
One worrying thing in my observation was that the music industry in Bulawayo was literally a hub of stagnancy. Today I’ll give you 3 reasons why Bulawayo Music Industry will not grow, and our growth will only be evident when we address such issues. For the record I’m not being critical but I’m sharing with you my opinion.
1. Bulawayo is full of complainers: You see in my entire life I’ve never seen people who complain like we Bulawayo folks. Come to think of it if your song doesn’t make it in the Top 10 Charts who do you blame because the public votes. Most times we don’t want to take responsibility of our failures, we want to point fingers at other people. We’ve heard a million times artists say ‘investors don’t want to invest or promote us’, sounds so humble really when you listen to them say that but have you ever asked yourself a question if ever your music is worth investing in or promoting? Investors want maximum profits with minimum risks, and believe me as an investor you really have to be thinking of damage control instead of what profit you going to make when you have to engage a Bulawayo artist.
2. There is nothing new to offer: I will be honest with you our artists have absolutely nothing new to offer. I can bet my last dollar every upcoming Bulawayo artist who gets in the studio will do Houz Music or Hip Hop. Fair enough when you come to think of it but hey when we want good Houz Music we will listen to Dj Cleo or Dj Clock or Professor, if we want top notch hip hop we know where to get it. Well if you decide to do it you better be good because the standard has already been set so you ain’t bringing anything new here. Look at this scenario Sungura artists who have been on top of their game for years now are having to work extra hard now because ZimDancehall is set to take over if not they have already. Now that’s competitiveness right there. Come on give the Zimbabwe Music Industry some serious challenge.
3. Bulawayo doesn’t support its artists: You know in Bulawayo an event that is organized by upcoming artists will have no audience, even if its for a dollar. Organizing a show in Bulawayo for bulawayo artists is actually ‘bad investment’ because you will surely run a loss. Jah Prayza or any other artist from the other regions they have full houses in their shows even if the lowest ticket is 5dollars. Who do we blame? Artists instead of being too ‘lippy’ start interacting with the general public, find ways of getting them to your shows. Its noone’s responsibility but your own, make them love to see you on stage. Ask yourself this as an artist how many of your family members come to your show? Probably none, if you get one or two to come then you are a true genius.
So if you can’t convince your own family to come how then will you have the whole city cheering you on stage? There are so many things we can deliberate on and still come to a stalemate, but the bottom line is once we don’t change our attitude we are not going anywhere, we will be just going round in circles singing the same old complaints we sung 20 years ago. Bulawayo artists let’s get up from our slumber and take on the industry head-on, we have what it takes, we have the talent.
Let’s not fight with complaints but battle it out on the stage and let the whole world know what you made of. Don’t focus on the petty issues, concentrate on making yourself a better artist and improve everyday. Hasta la vista, I’m out of here!