Home Urban Voices Why Can’t We Support Our Own Mediocrity?

Why Can’t We Support Our Own Mediocrity?

You cannot trash your own mother and expect the neighbour's child to respect her.

My Point Exactly by Kadder
My Point Exactly by Kadder
There’s a famous statement that goes like this; “a prophet is never acknowledged in his own home town”. Many have never really thought of this to apply in the arts industry but one glance at Bulawayo will quickly erase one if not all the doubt on the applicability of this saying.
Bulawayo, to be narrow, has continuously disappointed their own sons and daughters who have dared become artists identified with their people. This attitude has become a tradition, and its roots can be traced from as far as Lovemore Majaivana, Cont Mhlanga, Solomon Skuza, Achuzi to the current artists that some people might deem unnecessary to mention.
Clearly no one has made it out of the grindmill yet, as the cycle of artists’ ridicule is infinitely continuous.

Frustrated, these artists have felt betrayed and let down by the crowd they sought support from. Majaivana, to be more specific, ended up in a foreign land, having given up his career because people in Bulawayo would not separate themselves with $5 to go and watch “a boy from Mzilikazi” perform for them.

“a prophet is never acknowledged in his own home town”

These same people pioneered the trend of supporting foreign artists over their own local talent. They saw foreign acts as worthy of spending their hard earned cash on, compared to the local artists. Many talents died due to such a mentality and many are still to face the chopping block.


A number of people have gone to attribute their revulsion of local music, to the fact that it is of poor quality and does not represent the international standards of good music that South Africa is producing . Although this can be scientifically, culturally, academically and musicologically justified as the truth by some, it is not the crux of the problem.

What is consciously clear to the face of every soul is the fact that many people in Bulawayo have grown to associate themselves with everything that is “Mzansi”. This is so in aspects of fashion, food, language, behaviour, lifestyle and of course music, to mention a few.

People from Bulawayo have created a mini “Goli” for themselves, where they feel more South African than Zimbabwean. This lack of true identity has left them susceptible to any form of capitalist manipulation as long as it is branded “Mzansi”. Anything considered Zimbabwean is dully labelled as “uncool” and of poor quality.

The shunning of Bulawayo artists by Bulawayo people has given the foreign performers the audacity to short change both the ridiculed and the instigator. That is why every ounce of workforce that goes into organising the show, is strictly foreign from the performer, to the bouncer, up until the ticket vendor. What do you expect those that invested their money in the show to do? When you have little faith in your own people they also have very limited choices to make.

Zimbabwe is one of multichoice’s most lucrative markets meaning it has a very wide viewership in Zimbabwe but the company does next to nothing to help flight our local content on most of their channels. This is because we have not given the push for such a thing to happen. We do not consume what is ours, therefore why should they put it on the table during dinner time.

It is going to be in the next lifetime for us to hear/see a Cal-vin or Guluva Se7en song on Trace. Yes we might say it is substandard material but how do you expect A’s from your child when you do not support their path in education. Miracles don’t happen out of nowhere nowadays. The same Heavy K that can fill up BarbourFields was an unknown element 4 years ago, producing music from a shanty shack.

People from South Africa loved him and we in Zimbabwe (Bulawayo mostly) adopted him as a great. Why can’t we do that for our own why can’t we support their mediocrity to an extent that others have no option besides to endorse them? That’s the question that remains unanswered.

People from Bulawayo need to start appreciating local artists. That way they will win their dignity back. We have already lost a legend (Lovemore Majaivana) but we did not learn from the mistake. Let us not embarrass ourselves by being in a position where we have to write another 20000 people petition to force one of these young bloods to come back after we have trashed them

Wise words: You cannot trash your own mother and expect the neighbour’s child to respect her.