Last year Urban Culxure published a controversial article titled Bulawayo’s Big 5 Arts Mafia and as always the backlash we received forced us to retract our statement. However it comes as a surprise that the same doubting ‘Thomas’ who criticized us about the mafia list are the same people that are in conversation regarding who the Bulawayo Arts Mafia industry are.
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Its a pity that a year later people are beginning to be interested in the issue despite how inaccurate or speculative our list was (our guess is as good as yours) However in this new wave of conversation regarding the Mafia, one has to be very careful who has raised interest and their intention of raising this interest.
We have to be cognizant of the fact that many people WANT the title of Mafia and as per clichéd Italian mafia story those on the come up usually want to dethrone the Dons. The mafia story this time around was raised by attention seeking individuals who have not contributed much to the Bulawayo arts industry in the recent years. Are their intentions good or is it one of those fame seeking opportunities we come across?
The issue of the Mafia most of the times is being fronted by people outside Bulawayo and this has set a tendency of people on the ground not wanting to collaborate and work together. Bulawayo people have been labelled as people that like to complain, therefore if someone comes up with a negative attitude towards something, they are bound to get one or two people supporting that notion.
Another question to bounce around is that; if there is a mafia in Bulawayo how many individuals would still be in the arts industry in relation to the difficulties associated to the industry? if the mafia is there what do they have to show for their stature? Let us not play with the word of Mafia.
To all the doubting Thomas characters who last year convinced us that there was no mafia, why the sudden change? We prefer to stay on the other side of the fence and ask the same question you posed last year; WHAT MAFIA?
If the mafia does exist, we doubt they owe anyone anything lets all wake up and grind.