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A microphone for the masses
Chirinda, Magamba Network
April 24, 2013
the only country in which art shivers in pain, the church is in
business, the audiences evade tax and policy makers are half-hearted.
arts industry has, over the years, suffered greatly due to the economic
challenges that the country faced. Until recently, what has happened
is that artistic output has been on the decrease and quality has
subsequently dropped as well. In the past decade national radio
was dominated by foreign music, which influenced local art.
the then minister of information and publicity, Jonathan Moyo, to
introduce the much contested and restrictive 75% local airplay.
While national stations are guilty for peddling propaganda, this
policy helped catapult some local urban musicians to fame and the
urban grooves movement owes much to him.
In a blog by
Qhoshi's KoQhoshi, local music and art has been described as lacking
quality in the past, ZTV has been blamed for recycling old dramas
and not focusing on the new stuff from all corners of Zimbabwe.
Who is to blame and why?
Why this has
been so is partly due to censorship and the fact that we are a people
devoid of appreciation. Some DJs downplay other musicians' products,
the audience doesn’t pay licenses and advertisers are not
forthcoming. Until a time when authorities loosen their grip on
the so called ‘independent media’ and Zimbabweans own
up to the fact that they are not entirely American musicians or
actors, that they have a responsibility to pay for what they view
and uplift our own hip-hop, jazz and urban artistic trends, we will
not have anything to take pride in. Promotional efforts, studio
time, rich lyrics and echoes of poems will forever stay in the abyss.
songbirds, its poets tear horizons of lyricism, b-boys defy the
instruments but creativity is muffled on national platforms. Who
has to own up? The artist is toiling in the war zone, constantly
learning and consuming foreign familiar concepts through the world-wide-web
but commanders are shooting them in the foot. Writers scribble their
way through infinite pages but words end up being multiplied in
the photocopying machines of Harare.
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