BULAWAYO based artists have failed to take advantage of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), as the world shifts its focus to the premier trade showcase.
The trade fair kicks off on April 22 and will run until April 26. The fair often attracts thousands of visitors to Bulawayo.
If the ZITF trade fair entertainment calendar is anything to go by then Bulawayo artists will miss a golden opportunity to market themselves and make a bit of money by staging shows in and around the city.
Most of these artistes have often cried foul that promoters do not want to work with them and often favour Harare-based artists.
However, Harare artistes will provide the bulk of the entertainment with various shows pencilled throughout the trade fair week.
Judgement Yard, Guspy Warrior, Sulumani Chimbetu, Legendary Sounds, Winky D, Souljah Love and Killer T are some of the artistes who are billed to light up Bulawayo in the coming week.
Popular South African based kwaito artiste, Thokozani “L’vovo” Ndlovu will descend on Bulawayo on April 26 for a show dubbed “Trade Fair Shutdown” at Stop Over Bar.
Bulawayo Musicians Association (BMA) member, Khulekani “Khuxxman” Bethule said it was the role of promoters to set up shows and invite artists to perform.
“Promoters are the ones who organise shows and then invite us as artists to come and perform. We must find out from the promoters themselves why they are shunning Bulawayo artists.
“I understand that promoters do not have confidence in local artists and as business people, they would not want to invest their money on a product that will not give them profit,” said Khuxxman.
A music promoter who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com on condition of anonymity said the decision to opt for Harare based artists over their local counterparts was purely a business decision.
“It is a fact that at the moment Harare artistes are doing very well on the music scene. So naturally when you want to host a show that will attract many people you go with the popular artists.
“We are not by any means discriminating our local artists but I feel they need to work hard so that they match the standard of their Harare counterparts,” said the promoter.
Recently, promoters had to cancel a show featuring some of Bulawayo’s seasoned artists like Sandra Ndebele, Jeys Marabini, Clement Magwaza, Chase Skuza and Martin Sibanda from Ndolwane Super Sounds. Advertisement
The show dubbed “Jayiva Gala” only attracted about 40 people and the organisers decided to cancel it.
“When we realised that it was quiet at the gala, we decided to charge $3 instead of $5,” said Onias Sibanda one of the promoters, in an interview with a local newspaper.
“It was really disappointing because even after reviewing charges downwards, only a handful of people were prepared to part with such an amount. The number of performing artistes and the crowd did not tally.”