Promoters 'dump' foreign artistes

HARARE - Music promoters now prefer local artistes over foreign artistes as a way of minimising risks and costs.

Simba Madziwa of Simad Promotions told the Daily News that the rate at which international artistes come into Zimbabwe is declining steadily.

“Most promoters are now opting for local musicians to foreigners.

“We used to rely on the Caribbean countries particularly Jamaica because of affordable pricing.

“Most of the top artistes in Jamaica have been performing here like Mavado, Sean Kingston, Mr Vegas, Beenie Man, Cocoa Tea, Fanton Mojah, and Elephant Man among others,” said Madziwa.

He said since local promoters have exhausted notable Jamaican musicians, the only way left is to recycle them.

“We are now recycling artistes from the Caribbean islands and those from South Africa. This is obviously risky to promoters as people already know their stage work,” he said.

Seasoned music promoter, Barbara Chikosi popularly known as Mama Red Rose was quoted recently in the Daily News saying international artistes command large crowds in the country.

She explained that Zimbabweans often desire to quench their thirst of witnessing big artistes live on stage, not necessarily that these are better than our own musicians.

Madziwa said Western countries remain untapped sources of international music stars but these remain dear for our challenged economy.  

“We are reluctant to fetch Western musicians such as Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Kanye West because we cannot afford them. Bringing them into the country means local fans will be asked to pump out more than $50 as gate fees but very few can afford,” he said.

Instead, he said local artistes are reasonable, affordable and have no risks.

“It is convenient to organise a gig only comprising of local artistes. They are affordable because they do not require extra expenses. However, as promoters we fully understand the value of our own artistes in pulling crowds,” he said.

Recently Clint Robinson director of C and A Entertainment surprised the entertainment fraternity when he organised a concert which comprised of all local artistes.

The concert run under the theme “Local is lekker.”

Over the years C and A Entertainment specialised in bringing Jamaican artistes in the country and these include Sean Kingston, Mavado and Agent “Assassin” Sasco among others.

Simad Entertainment brought in the youthful Nigerian singer Chinedu Okoli aka Flavour, South African DJ Cleo and Mzekezeke among others.

Recently the company organised a concert that pitted top urban grooves Rockford “Roki” Josphats and Snipper “The General” Storm in Harare.


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