Artistes turn to farming. . . as economic crisis deepens

HARARE - The deepening liquidity crunch has resulted in more and more music fans not attending live shows, a development that has forced some artists to think outside the box and venture into other income generating projects like farming.

Artistes such as Tedius Matsito, Alick Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu, Peter Moyo, Mathias Mhere and Bethen Pasinawako-Ngolomi among others are some of the artistes who run farming projects.

For the first time in his life, veteran sungura musician Matsito of Ngwenya Brothers ventured into tobacco farming late last year as a way of augmenting his meagre earnings from music.

Matsito told the Daily News yesterday that he ventured into farming because music is no longer rewarding him.

“Back in the day, we used to rely solely on music but the situation has since changed. To make matters worse, I am no longer able to stage concerts as I used to do in the past due to failing health, hence trying my luck in farming,” the Nyaradzo singer said.

Sungura kingpin Macheso spent the better part of January at his farm in Chivhu.

Macheso recently told the Daily News that he breeds cattle and grows maize.

“I am getting older; I am now 49 that is why I have to plan for the future. Ichasvika nguva yekuti muviri unenge usisadi kudzana pastage.

“That is why I am developing a farm in Chivhu; I am very happy with the progress there. I breed cattle and farm maize,” the sungura star said.

Dendera musician Chimbetu did not only inherit his father’s musical legacy but also a family farm in Chegutu where the 35-year-old artiste is growing tobacco.

Young Igwe as Moyo is popularly known in the showbiz said he has partnered his mother in running a poultry project at Sherwood farms in Kwekwe.

Like Chimbetu the Mushonga Mukuru singer had inherited the farm from his late father Tongai.

“As we are talking, my mother is on the ground managing the project and I am happy that the business is doing fine,” Moyo said.

The late wordsmith and musician Paul “Dr Love” Matavire had ventured into full-time farming by the time of his death in 2005.

Matavire died at his Rutenga Farm in Masvingo at the age of 44.

However, businessman, farmer and music promoter Thompson Dondo believes most of the artistes are venturing into farming out of desperation.

“We are living in trying times hence most of the artistes venture into farming not because they love the project but they do so to earn an extra dollar.

“It might not be part of their hobbies but it can be a sign of desperation.

“However, farming like any other project in this world can be lucrative provided you commit yourself.

“One needs enough time to manage the farm and I believe if the project is done well, one will make a lot of money,” Dondo said.


 

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