BY SINDISO DUBE
A WARD-WINNING and globetrotting comedian Carl Joshua Ncube has sensationally claimed that there is a clique in Bulawayo that is stifling the city’s arts scene on tribal basis.
Ncube once made the assertion in 2018, that there was an eight-member “Mafia” abusing local artists, but refused to name it.
“There are eight people who I know personally who make every event that is not from Bulawayo a bad thing,” said Ncube four years ago on a Facebook Live discussion with Iyasa founder Nkululeko Dube.
“Those people need to be stopped and if they are removed from Bulawayo, so be it.
“There’s a lot of hard work being done by artistes in Bulawayo, but their mediocrity as artistes in their personal capacities has stifled these people’s careers and this has to stop.
“One of the biggest challenges of working in Bulawayo is that I’m never made to feel at home because there’s a certain group of people in Bulawayo who think that they own it, they must validate you (first).
“I can perform in Harare and they’ll call me their own, even in Victoria Falls where I’ve lived for a short while, or in Gweru or Mutare, but in Bulawayo, I get a lot of hate from the people there.”
Last week, on the Denny J show, an incensed Ncube made the same sentiments adding that Bulawayo arts industry was run on tribal lines.
Ncube quizzed why ‘successful’ artists were not credited for being from Bulawayo when they leave the city.
“Bulawayo and Matabeleland has exported the majority of artists like Iyasa, Nobuntu and Mookomba,” he said.
“They bypass Harare and go outside the country, but Bulawayo doesn’t want to celebrate those artists.
“Why is it that every time it’s mentioned that Bulawayo artists are not booked? Why it is that successful artists like me are not mentioned? Why is it not important to mention that?
“As for me I am called a sellout.
“How do you push your agenda if the very people who are the luminaries are called sellouts? Why does Bulawayo export such great artists and choose to abandon them when they make it?”
He added: “Out of the luminaries outside Bulawayo, how many have won awards in the city? I did a Ted Talk and I don’t win awards in Bulawayo and I am called a sellout, its fine.”
“Let it be known today on this show that I am a sell out yet I have been telling my Ndebele heritage all over.”
Ncube alleged that he has had his shows sabotaged in Bulawayo for not being Ndebele or Bulawayo enough.
“I have realised that it’s so difficult to perform for my own people because there is a layer of people who are giving a bad name to Bulawayo in the name of Bulawayo is being left out,” he said.
“I have even been booked by promoters who have sabotaged their own shows only to prove a point.
“There is something about being Ndebele and coming from Bulawayo that is like you have to qualify it by more than just existing.
“There is a certain group in Bulawayo I really wish did not exist, somewhere in the top layer in entertainment there is a group of people, the very same guys who complain about Harare are the same guys who are sidelining their own.”
Born Carl Joshua Tinodavanhu Ncube on May 25 in 1979 in Bulawayo, he grew up with his mother in Marondera after his parents divorced.
Ncube attended primary school at Barham Green Primary School and Greenfield Primary School in Bulawayo, as well as Borrowdale Primary School in Harare, Waddilove Mission School and Mutare Junior School.
He is said to have skipped fifth grade after his relocation to Marondera where he was now staying with his mother. Ncube did his secondary education at Prince Edward High School in Harare.