Piracy uplifted me: Jusa Mupostori

MUTARE - When a musician grudgingly speaks positively of a vice that has virtually killed any prospects of profitable recording, it just illustrates how music piracy has spun out of control.

While shrinks may be tempted to explain Jusa Mupostori’s assertion that “piracy uplifted me” as a typical example of the Stockholm Syndrome — a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express positive feelings toward their captors — Mutare’s favourite artiste insists that he is just being real.

“We make money through shows. Album releases are just for marketing oneself,” he told the Daily News on Sunday.

Though, by his own, by his own admission, he is a small fish on the national music stage, Jusa is delighted by the way he is loved and appreciated in Mutare where he rarely misses a function.

Jusa’s track Handina Mari has become an anthem of sorts in Mutare but has generally been shunned by national radio stations based in Harare.

“Regrettably, I owe the popularity that I have to piracy. National radio stations do not play my music. I only release new albums to stay relevant through new songs otherwise I do not expect my money to come from album sales,” said the Zimunya-born artiste.

Jusa, whose real name is Wiriranai Chakoroma-Maenda, regrets that he has to acknowledge the role played by music piracy in plucking him from the dusty streets of Zimunya Township, 20 kilometres east of Mutare, to relative self-sufficiency.

“Because my life has known no other way of making money but to sing and dance for every cent and never from album sales, I have to be grateful to the vice that has given me the fame that has made me the entertainer of choice in and around Mutare,” Jusa said.

The Kabhegi Kechimhandara singer hopes to release a 12-track album next month which he says is “an advert for my services.”

“I hope one or two songs will be hits in the run-up to December. That way I will be able to get concerts during the usually busy festive season,” he said.

The Mutare-based artiste is praying that someday he will be able play with a live band.

“I want to also play live instruments but I can’t afford it at the moment. I have started buying instruments and will make the transition to a live band hopefully soon,” the slim musician said.

Currently Jusa, who performs with up to three dancers with the use of backing tracks, has been a victim of powerful people in Mutare who deny him payment after he has performed.

“One time I was made to cancel a show we had advertised using posters and for which I expected a reasonable payment. I was not given even a cent for my performance that weekend. The same weekend as fate would have it two of my dancers were involved in an accident and one of them died while the other was hospitalised,” Jusa said.

“I tried to contact the person I had performed for that weekend for assistance of any kind and I was completely ignored and ended up receiving  assistance elsewhere.”

Such is Jusa’s popularity that some unscrupulous personalities on the Mutare entertainment scene sometimes use the picture of the popular entertainer on their posters outside his knowledge in a bid to lure people to their events.

Jusa told the Daily News on Sunday that he owes the little success he has generated to date to local business people, Brian Machinga, Club Oasis’ Mandala and Canaan Matiashe as well as fellow artist Simba Gee.

“With Simba we started more or less the same time. He has grown to be a good musical video producer and has remained very close to me. We still work together without money being such a big thing between us,” he said.

 

Comments (2)

That is the painful truth, most artistes in Zimbabwe are becoming popular because we see their DVDs or CDs in the streets neboys dzepiracy. Our radio stations and TV stations leave a lot to be desired!!

Tamuka - 7 April 2014

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Lizzy - 8 April 2014

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