Monday, 17 February 2020

ARTISTS DEMAND FOREX


ZIMBABWE A-list entertainers are now charging for their shows in the elusive United States dollar, putting a strain on promoters and of course revellers.

Passing the costs to merrymakers, artists, be they musicians, DJs or dancers, now prefer hard currency because they also have to dig deep into their pockets to pay for venues, PA systems and also the stage in the more stable greenbacks.

Unsurprisingly at most public events, beverages are now being sold in the US dollar as the market resists the local currency.

While in the past only international acts charged in foreign currency, local entertainers are now demanding a piece of the pie too.

But it is not all roses because promoters are feeling the pinch as they are often left reeling in losses.

 Proma Events boss Jack Jeke said while it is logical to pay international artists in foreign currency, it is difficult to do so for local entertainers.

“As for foreign acts, it is understandable, but nowadays even the locals demand US dollars even some without the capacity to fill a venue for a promoter to get a profit or breakeven,” said Jeke.

Simbarashe Chakare of Bodyslam Entertainment, who is behind the popular Madirirano, said the US dollar has made business difficult.

“Service providers of chairs, tents and security now demand forex. Artists on the other hand now demand foreign currency, but when it comes to events we are expected to charge in RTGS. The inflated exchange rate makes it hard for us to benefit from the work we put in,” he said.

 Werras Entertainment boss Samuel Saungweme said the demand for the greenback has made it difficult even to organise nonprofit events.

“We are behind a number of charity events, health and drug awareness campaigns, but the demand for the US dollar is making it impossible.

“For some to just appear for 10 minutes, they demand US$500 despite that it is an open event and no profit is expected.

“This is the terrain we find ourselves in and for one to realise profits in such an arrangement where the US dollar rules is impossible.” Daily News

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