Artists still disappointed

HARARE - Artists are still disappointed that 38 years of independence have brought little if anything for their sector.

Artists feel the government has neglected them and while most of them are popular, they are poor.

Singer Dino Mudondo said he looks forward to the future for brighter days.

“The arts industry has been stagnant for a very long time. There is no art budget that sustains most artists unless they resort to other trades.

“My expectations as an artiste are yet to be met as most people do not have an understanding that artists also need to survive on their talent.

“The trade is undervalued which leaves most artists famous but failing to pay for basic bills. Piracy also destroyed our well being because someone can get my music for less than a dollar yet my recording costs would have been hundreds fold.

“The only way to make any earnings is by live shows but most promoters still take advantage. A lot of rules are being broken and none is taking responsibility, at some point people have to be accountable for their actions.

“I have been around the world where every nation is proud of their own so please allocate 99 percent to all local content so at least our artistes can make money through airplay and get royalties,” said Mudondo.

Singer and band leader of Deverangwena Jonah Moyo said: “Our expectations as musicians are long gone because you cannot have expectations which in reality will never come true. Maybe the next generation will enjoy Independence Day because at the moment there isn’t anything to celebrate.”

Guitarist Josh Meck said Independence Day to him as a young musician always gives him that feeling of looking back to see where we are as a nation from the time we gained independence to the present moment.

“And with each year I get this frightening feeling of where we are going as a nation because looking at how things are, my future as a young musician is uncertain unless drastic changes are made regarding our economy.

“So for me, there is not much excitement, rather there is concern.”

Guitarist Victor Kunonga said: “We’ve waited for so long for this day (Independence Day) to be meaningful to us. We are hopeful that we are headed in the right direction.”

Poet Nqobile Malinga said: “l expect that the new government will realise that independence without freedom of expression is meaningless, artists are like prophets they foretell the future, hence the need for them to be given space to speak about religious, social, economic and or political matters without fear or favour.”

Actor Obrian Mudyiwenyama said this is the first Independence Day in which he seems to be optimistic about the future.

“Of course things haven’t been as smooth as I expected them to be, but I feel like there are better days ahead of us. If not for me, then certainly for my children.

“This is a beautiful country whose citizens deserve nothing but the best. This independence has so much meaning and seems to make a lot of sense to me and I can safely tell my children what April 18 means and why they protect this day. Happy birthday Zimbabwe. May you continue to recover!”

Guitarist Pablo Mkapa said a lot has happened in the past 38 years around the world with many countries developing big time.

“Sadly it’s not the story with Zimbabwe, in fact things have gone bad. Our ghettos are badly underdeveloped with no clean water. Roads are full of potholes. It seems like instead of moving 38 years ahead we have gone 100 years backwards.

“I don’t think our forefathers lived the way we are living.

“Something must be done. If we are to attain the world standards, people must work together to end corruption, we must develop Zimbabwe.

“Music can only be good and rewarding in a good economy. People attend music shows when they can afford. Let’s build our nation and then everything would fall into place.”

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