By Sindiso Dube
Nyaradzo Group says their involvement in the arts sector was not clout-chasing, but influenced by their desire to celebrate success when it’s due.
The funeral services company has lately been the centre of a storm and accused of riding on the arts industry at a time when the sector is battling with the Covid-19 pandemic.
A number of musicians in Zimbabwe have been living from hand mouth after the government introduced regulations meant to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The regulations included the banning of gathering and opening of beer outlets such as clubs and sports bars, which in the past have been musicians’ hunting grounds.
As a result, most musicians have been struggling to make ends meet with some having turned into begging.
While a few have joined the informal trade bandwagon, a number of musicians are on the throes of poverty to an extent that they accept anything that comes their way.
A local businessman speaking on condition of anonymity said a number of musicians have been reduced to destitutes and are now vulnerable.
“I have been visited by some artistes asking for financial assistance, with some imploring me to do anything so that I pay them. Most of them are now destitute,” said the businessman, who is also a music promoter.
He said at this rate, most artistes will end up on the streets begging.
Lately, Zimbabwe has had new players joining the arts industry with the aim of supporting artistes in the face of Covid-19.
One such company that has been supportive of the arts industry in the last few months is Nyaradzo and the company’s head of strategy and corporate affairs, Batsirai Simango said their involvement in the arts sector was meant to celebrate the country’s success story.
“We are a wholly Zimbabwean entity, which seeks to deliver good tidings as well as celebrate the success of our country’s men and women,” said Simango.
“Their success is ours and we believe that by shining the light on the success of our people, we can build on that momentum to achieve the greater good for our nation as a whole, now and in the future. Tiri sahwira mukuru.”
On Friday, the funeral services company hosted a virtual music concert dubbed The Big Launch, which featured some of the country’s top musicians.
Jah Prayzah, Alick Macheso, Tocky Vibes, Selmor Mtukudzi, Baba Harare, Novuyo Seagirl and Baba Harare, among others participated in the event.
Sandra Ndebele, who was supposed to perform on the night did not feature on the show, which was accessed on the Nyaradzo Group Facebook and YouTube channel.
“We had a tremendous show on the night. It was viewed by close to 2 800 people and it accumulated close to 14 000 comments,” Simango said.
“If you check the line-up we had upcoming artistes as well and this shows our desire to support the development of arts in the country.
“We also had Chipawo, they did not perform on the night, but we have a recording from them that we used for the show.”
Simango said going forward, Nyaradzo would keep working with artistes regardless of any form they represent.
The company has a introduced Sahwira Wear and Win Promotion under the banner Sahwira Events and Lifestyle, and Simango described the move as part of their diversification.
“Nyaradzo is a fully integrated financial services provider as well as a lifestyle entity,” Simango said.
“The launch of the Sahwira Wear and Win Promotion is in line with our diversification strategy, which seeks to offer several touch points for our customers during their lifetime.
“We not only offer insurance products and end of life solutions, we also offer event management solutions for occasions such as weddings, graduation or birthday parties.
“Through our Sahwira Events and Lifestyle division, we also offer holiday facilities in Nyanga, Vumba and houseboats on Lake Kariba.
“For those who like to experience the Zimbabwean outdoors, we have camping gear and equipment available for hire.
Unveiling the Sahwira Win and Share Promotion, Nyaradzo Group CEO Philip Mataranyika, said they were creating the hype in order to take an inclusive approach to celebrating the integrated financial services provider and lifestyle entity’s 20th anniversary.