Wednesday 24 March 2021


SOME artistes have said hand outs will not get them anywhere as they are livid that the Deputy Minister of Youth Sport, Arts and Recreation Tino Machakaire gave out US$15 000 to artistes, during a closed-door meeting in Harare.

At the closed-door meeting on Tuesday, established artistes, mostly musicians such as Alick Macheso, Mechanic Manyeruke, Sulumani Chimbetu, Charles Charamba, Seh Calaz, Tendai and Selmor Mtukudzi, Stunner, Baba Shupi, Kadhija and music promoter Patson “Chipaz” Chimbodza met with the deputy minister.

The meeting according to the ministry’s Facebook page, was between the deputy minister, musicians and music promoters.

One of the musicians who attended the meeting said they met the deputy minister to air out their grievances and ask for the reopening of the sector and he gave them the money.

“The meeting was about us telling the deputy minister our plight. For a year now, the sector has been closed and we’ve been starving at home. He then gave us money from his pocket which was a welcome surprise,” said the artiste who spoke on condition of anonymity.

However, renowned arts practitioner, Cont Mhlanga said this was not the way to solve the arts sector’s problems

“It’s not the way the way to do it. Because those aren’t the only musicians that are suffering that came to the meeting. All the musicians across the country are suffering. And you need a very structured and industrial way of solving it. No! No! No! No! That is very unacceptable,” said a furious Mhlanga.

“The musicians went there to genuinely lobby for the reopening of the industry because they depend on live shows and without them, they have no income. They did the right thing and lobbied and how did the minister respond? He responded by bribing them with US$1 000 and US$500 each which they will use to pay the rent for the year and a half they didn’t perform and it will be finished by the end of the day. And then what?”

Mhlanga suggested that the ministry should instead identify at least two venues in each province where musicians can perform for live crowds under strict Covid conditions. Chronicle


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