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Bulawayo awakens from slumber

Bulawayo has of late been a hive of activity, with various artists doing joint performances where upcoming artists are sharing the stage with seasoned ones.


Jam Sessions — a platform for budding artists to showcase their talent — was recently launched in the city while Culture Beat Africa (CBA) founder Admire Kudita set up Live and Fluid, another platform for young artists that has been running since last year.

On November 26, the who is who of Bulawayo arts will converge at White City Stadium for the mother of all shows, dubbed We Honour Our Music Legends Concert.

The event will see artists like Jeys Marabini, Iyasa, Clement Magwaza, Chase Skuza, Sandra Ndebele, DJ Mzoe, Sungura Masters, Zinjaziyamluma, Madlela, Mzoe 7, Guluva 7, Khuxman, Vocal X, Khuliyo, Kadder and many more perform on the day.

One of the organisers of the event, Nkululeko Nkala told The Standard Style that the idea to come up with such an event had emanated from a discussion he had with Jeys Marabini and Iyasa founder Nkululeko Dube.

Nkala said the event was meant to celebrate music heroes like Solomon Skuza, Beater Mangeta and Cool Crooners, among others.

“The idea is to honour our fallen heroes and if money is realised from the concert, we will channel some towards families of the late musicians,” he said.

“The event is also a measure of local musicians and their support base.

“Music and dance is what will be happening and all genres will be covered, from imbube, jazz, reggae, hip-hop, house and kwaito.”

Nkala said all participating artists would be accommodated and given a slot during the 16-hour performance time.
“We have 16 hours of performance time and all artists should fit in that schedule. Performances will range from 10 to 30 minutes,” he said.

“We also need events that expose local talent. We are still a little far from the business end of things in this city.”

Dube said apart from honouring the legends, both living and late, the event was also meant to create synergies between audiences and artists.

“We want to promote audiences for local arts. This event is artist-driven and like Jam Sessions, we slowly build synergies among artists that will teach us to work together, bring our efforts together and in that solidarity, build audiences for our music and other art forms,” he said.

Kudita said despite the fact that local artists complained about lack of opportunities, some needed to change their attitudes and become more professional in their approach in order to attract and retain corporate partners.

He said talent may be brewed locally but it should be exported elsewhere

“As CBA Multimedia Trust, our thrust has been to create platforms for showcasing superlative creative content from Cape to Cairo, starting in Bulawayo. One thing we have observed is that the local population size is not big enough to sustain viable careers in the creative economy,” he said.

“This means that we either make more babies or we perfect the talent locally and export it to a larger market. So we need to ensure that we create distribution pathways for content either to Harare or to the wider African and global market. Locally, we need attitudinal shifts. Firstly, get rid of the unprofessionalism that has potential to alienate corporate partners. Grow, protect and leverage on brands.

“Finally, Bulawayo creatives simply need to collaborate to deliver products to the market. It’s a matter of survival. As CBA, we have given ourselves the task to create a creative sector matrix of interdisciplinary creatives,” he said.

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