Is it talent or pretty faces?

HARARE - Upcoming female artistes Lady Storm and Sarah Dee routinely attract big crowds — mostly men — that make their seasoned male counterparts green with envy.

This incredible pulling power is despite the fact that they have no known hits to talk about and are usually given less attractive Tuesday or Wednesday gigs.

According to City Sports Bar manager Mathias Bangure, whenever he lines up an all-female concert featuring the likes of Bevy, Lady Storm, Zoey and Sarah Dee he is almost always guaranteed of a full house.

“Naturally men follow women and vice-versa. It is only that the majority of people who attend concerts are men that is why some women artistes really attract big crowds.

“This is not a new phenomenon. Male musicians usually attract female fans. The late sungura artiste Tongai Moyo had a big following of female supporters. Jah Prayzah too has a lot of lady followers who will turn up in big numbers whenever he holds family shows,” Bangure told Daily News on Sunday.

Lady Storm, who was born Lyn Magodo, has a single album under her belt titled Ndisvikewo. This album though is relatively unknown.

Lady Storm is best known by ordinary music fans for featuring on Jah Prayzah’s video as Eriza.

The 23-year-old ex-soldier concedes that many men come to their concerts to ogle.

“It’s 50-50 when it comes to that issue. You know men are just like that. Of course some men come to our shows to admire our faces and body shapes.

“But we cannot say all our fans come to our concerts with this intention, some genuinely come to enjoy live music and to appreciate our talent,” said Lady Storm.

She added that she is much more than a mere pretty face.

“I have confidence in my talent as an artiste. I am an all-rounder who can compose, sing and dance. It is unfortunate that most music fans first saw me on videos of other musicians — particularly on Jah Prayzah’s Eriza video — dancing so they think that is all I am good at. I sing very well,” said the controversial musician.

Lady Storm is confident that her latest single Zangalewa will prove her detractors wrong.

“I have just released my latest single Zangalewa which is already doing very well. It will be part of my forthcoming studio album that I will release in September,” she said.

Despite the fact that not many people are familiar with her music, Sarah Dee, whose real name is Sarah Dhliwayo, is adamant that it is her talent that draws crowds to her concerts.

“There are a lot of female artistes in the country but not all of them have the ability to attract crowds to their concerts.

“I am convinced that most of my fans flock to my concerts to enjoy live music and not my looks. In fact, personally I don’t encourage fellow females to bank on their bodies in the showbiz industry that is why I recently released the song Kushandiswa Taramba which encourages people to speak out against the discrimination of women at all levels.”

Sarah Dee added that her music career has not taken off in a big way because she is not prepared to be abused  on stage or off it.

“This is the reason why I am not being promoted in the music industry because of turning down love proposals of influential men.

“Female artistes are being taken advantage of in the showbiz industry and the society at large hence we are saying no to that manipulation and exploitation,” the mother of four said.

In the run-up to the launch of her second album titled Hupenyu Makata last year, popular songstress Jean Masters attributed her success to hard work and not to “her beauty.”

She added that her success was being held back by a “patriarchal Zimbabwean society” where men call the shots.

“From time immemorial, fans have always been biased towards the music of men. However, we cannot keep on crying but we have to prove that women can also do it,” Jean Masters said.

The Misi Haifanani singer is convinced that female artistes will only succeed if they double up their efforts in a terrain controlled by exploitative men.

“A poor man is better than a poor woman. If you do not have resources some men take it as an opportunity for them to seek sexual favours from you. Luckily for me I have managed to buy my own public address system which has empowered me in a very big way,” she told the Daily News on Sunday then.

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