‘Yes l Am a woman in the music industry.And?Well it makes a difference.A big difference actually – Emily Gonneau Being a woman in the music industry is quite an experience.Especially for those in the limelight.They have been given most of the attention thereby shadowing those behind the scenes.
My Point Exactly
This week l decided to focus on the behind the scenes women,female Artiste Managers in particular dwelling mostly on how it feels like to be one.Their highs and lows in short.Here is how it went.
Q:What is the difference when you are a woman working in the music industry not as an artiste?
A:Not being in the limelight has some advantages.Luckily we are not expected to flash our breasts countless times in a video for people to remember our song or listen to what we have to say.We don’t have the press naming and shaming us on the world stage when we have had a bad hair day or gone swimming with an imperfect yet real body.
We are also spared the flood of vicious,violent,hurtful,deeply violent comments online that female artistes receive every single day because we aren’t in the limelight.Last but not least,we still have the right to our privacy meaning who we date,marry or parent with is not widely covered by…anyone at all
(Emily Gonneau onbher article entitled ‘What being a woman a woman in music is really like.)
I also spoke to Michelle Michy Madau,my all time favourite diva in Bulawayo who manages The Divas and The One Stand Band which happens to have Qeqeshiwe Mntambo and Starbrite 2015 winner Novuyo Seagirl as part of the group.l asked her about the highs and lows of a female artiste manager and how it feels like to be one.
This was her response: ‘I love the fact that its a male dominated industry and being the female in the game is quite challenging yet I love it to bits as it proves that we too can hustle . The bad side of it is that the men in the game feel they can push us over indirectly by using their charm lol , and of course us being women, play along and yet we fully know what their intentions are and go on to beat them at their own game #winks
Sithabile Nokuthula Lynette Dambo also known as Boss Lulue or VicVegas Manager a woman from Victoria Falls manages four artistes mainly 4AceKater and Ras Boom who is a Zimdancehall musician and Urban grooves.
McVay who does Hiphop,Trixx Kater who does dancehall and Rubata is a kwaito musician.Just like Michelle Madau she is surely proving that female Artistes managers can be where they really want to be in the male dominated Music industry in their very own terms.She is owning her throne in Victoris Falls where the Artistes she manages are welll receiving airplay at Breeze FM and the community greatly appreciates her works.
When l asked her what inspired her to be an artiste manager and the highs and lows of it,this is what she had to say ‘What inspired me to be an artist manager is the gender inbalance in the Arts and also my belief in the work my artists did.I admired the passion and effort they were putting in day after day,them involving me and valuing my input was enough to convince me.
Some days are tougher as I would have to man up and face chauvinistic characters who think no women belong in this industry.Promoters will sometimes remind me that women belong in the kitchen but I can’t beat my self up for being in a male domonated sector.Some will be rude to me but Its them that make the hustle worth it.I take negativity as constructive criticism…I dont let it get e better of me.
After chatting with these two women,l came to the conclusion the Music Industry needs change and fast too.We desperately need more female artiste managers and promoters and for this to happen we (both men and women) need to appreciate and recognise the passionate and stellar jobs they are doing.
If only the men in the industry stopped judging women on the basis of their gender and bodies,there would be room for more female Artiste managers and promoters who would to a greater extent tone down the sexualusation of female artistes as they would promote artistes according to standards they would want for themselves too. #ngyabongamina