Ray of hope for musicians
Tafadzwa Zimoyo, Harare Office
Zimbabwe has a relatively high number of internationally recognized musicians and individual song titles garnering over five million views on YouTube.
While statistics on the size of the Zimbabwean music market are still scarce, industry players generally agree that there has been a strong growth in the number of musicians, both male and female, over the past decades. .
Kudos to the technology that has made local music production very affordable with a wider pool of talent now entering the music market. This was revealed yesterday at the successful launch of Zimbabwe’s National Music Strategy at The Venue in Avondale, Harare.
It has given new life and a ray of hope to local musicians as the “Strategy” will create a robust, adaptive, creative and economically sustainable music sector in Zimbabwe by helping the music sector to operate efficiently and profitably in music national, regional and international. markets.
Some of its pillars include Intellectual Property, Funding, Funding and Investment, Music Governance, Education, Capacity Building, Training and Media, among others.
Conversely, the strategy emerged after an analysis and interviews that were carried out within the framework of the European Union, Unesco, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) and the government in March 2020.
The report also showed that Zimbabwe has a music sector that is out of its league compared to other countries of similar population and income.
Speaking at the launch, which was attended by musicians, promoters, arts authorities and local dignitaries among others, Minister for Youth, Sport, Arts and Leisure Kirsty Coventry said the strategy was aimed to firmly position the music sector as a key contributor to national development. economic development and job creation.
“Music will therefore be a vital cog in the matrix to achieve an upper middle income society which is spelled out in Vision 2023, as well as in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she said.
“Music is an important tool to strengthen social cohesion and peace, and to promote the image of Zimbabwe. Implementation of the strategy is the responsibility of all public and private sector actors involved in music value chains.
She said the strategy has the ability to unlock the inherent value and potential of the music sector to become a formidable and robust economic sector for Zimbabwe.
NACZ director Nicholas Moyo said: “We call on actors in their various capacities as artists, producers, promoters, sound engineers, composers, record company executives, collective management and investors to merge the mechanism contained here in their daily operations. .”
He said the strategy noted that the creative sector has a gender imbalance that is common to the music sector in Africa, as well as in other parts of the world.
“Female musicians in Zimbabwe still face significant social stigma which can discourage entry or growth in the music industry. Those who pursue a musical career are often locked into the role of backing vocalists, even when they have greater ambitions.
Zimbabwean female musicians also have less access to professional managers and therefore face more limited opportunities for career growth.
“Female music managers also complain that they are often ignored, with music promoters bypassing them more frequently to speak directly with the musicians they represent than male managers,” he explained.
Zimdancehall’s award-winning musician, Nutty O, who put on a scintillating performance at the launch, said that as musicians, they always have the energy and power to push the development of the industry forward. He said the launch of the strategy was a stepping stone to boost their careers. “The strategy will now make us respectable and considered serious artists. We aim to internationalize and be recognized,” he said.