Female musicians slam promoters

HARARE - Female musicians in Zimbabwe are advocating for a “woman quota” in which all music promoters will be asked to include women musicians when they hold concerts.

These sentiments come after organisers of Busiswa’s Harare concert, pencilled for September 8 at Alexandra Sports Club, failed to include local female musicians on the line up despite the headlining South African artiste being a woman.

Singer Diana “Mangwenya” Samkange has also put a boot into local promoters saying they see no good in female artistes.

“South African singer Busiswa is billed to perform in Zimbabwe with a host of other local musicians...male musicians. I wish the promoters a wonderful and successful show,” Samkange said through a Facebook post.

In driving her point home, Samkange psyched up fellow female musicians by way of deriding them all as spineless.

“In other news...all female musician endai kumusha munoroorwa nekuita vana nekubika sadza nemufushwa wetsine nekuti kumagitare emunyika muno hatife takaonekwa naaniwo zvake mu Zimbabwean industry ino kunyangwtikaita sei na sei. Hanzi hamusi ma crowd puller uye hamuna profit... Cry my beloved female arts industry...Anyway, mabhazi ekwa Zvimba kumusha kwangu aakuita marii nhai, bag ndasunga...I thank you... Asante Sana! Happy women’s month. (Female musicians we should just retire from showbiz and concentrate on domestic chores because no one pays attention to us).”

Busiswa will share the stage with Winky D, Andy Muridzo and Mathias Mhere.

Efforts to obtain a comment from organisers of the concert were fruitless by the time of going to print but one of the veteran promoters in the country Barbara “Mai Red Rose” Chikosi of Red Rose Entertainment once told this publication that promoters are in the business for profit.

“Promoters look at the crowd pullers for him or her to make a profit.

There is no way one can invite musicians who have no capacity to pull desired results,” Chikosi said.

Previously there was also an outcry after organisers of Mukanya Homecoming Bira held in April shut the door on female musicians.

The organisers then included Samkange in response to the outcry.

The Zimbabwe Musicians Union chairperson Edith WeUtonga sided with Samkange.

“I think we spoke about this the last time she posted on the Mukanya gig and she ended up being billed too. Our regulatory body must help us in this cause. Like in Parliament, there must be a quota that takes care of the women in music where the promoters are concerned. Of the three ‘must have’ opening acts, at least one must be a woman,” WeUtonga said.

“The last time we took the matter to National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, the then deputy director Nicholas Moyo said ‘why do women musicians need a quota? Why don’t you instead start your own?’ But with what resource should we start with? Can we be creative content creators and promoters too?”

In a recent interview with Pauline Gundidza, she concurred with the quota system, though she also urged female musicians to continue perfecting their works.

“Though we admit that being women is not a disability neither a setback but I urge promoters to consider the plight of female musicians.

“They should consider female musicians differently from men as women needs to take care of household chores, taking care of both husband and children. The same cannot be said with men who can afford to spend the entire day or week in studios, perfecting their music,” she said then.

Larrisa “Dj Lyaness” Makahamadze said the industry is awash with talented women musicians.

“We are actually better than some of the so-called male crowd pullers but the only issue is that we are not promoted fairly in this industry. The unbalanced treatment makes our life difficult in the showbiz and as a result this will force some of us to resort to buy the favours through engaging in sex activities,” Makahamadze said.

However, Jean Masters told the Daily News that talent has no gender.

“We are all equal and I do not think men have some advantages we lack as women but it is only that we need to work extremely hard in this industry. No matter how busy one can be, it cannot affect talent,” she said.

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