What is Musombodhiya? | Kala Documentary

 

By Donald Mabido

Musombodhiya is a popular illicit alcoholic substance sold on the black market in Zimbabwe. Jah Prayzah and Military touch even sing about how intoxicating it is in their song Chekeche. It’s cheap and addictive. It’s made out of an alcohol concentrate and water. Kalabash media caught up with a community coming to grips with the consequences of having this substance readily available on the streets and talked to one man as he went to get his daily dose of Musombodhiya.

How to Get Strangled By An Artist

 

by Madman Filtered

You will know, I have been an artist for a minute, once or twice a year I create something truly remarkable, and once or twice a year I have to stand outside on garbage collection day and hand the dustman a few notes so he doesn’t open the jute sack, heavy and dripping blood.

 

In the interests of public safety, and me not having to part with my hard-earned money so often, here is a list of things to never, ever, say to an artist, no matter how well you mean with your ignorance.

 

Deep. Never call art deep. An ocean is deep, a swimming pool is deep, maybe the sea. An artwork is not deep unless it’s a painting, maybe, of one of the above. Or a sculpture of water.

 

If I ever get told I look like an artist again I will not only murder the speaker but wipe out the entire clan. I will reduce your name to dust, smash the tombstones of your dearly departed, dig up their corpses and feed their bones to strays. I will burn down the Registrar General’s office to make sure you are utterly erased from all existence. That includes your social media accounts; no one will be writing RIP on your Facebook wall on your birthday.

 

Maybe I take drugs, maybe I don’t, maybe I take them as much as the next guy, maybe I don’t, but just because you don’t see how it came to existence doesn’t mean I was stoned or cocked like f*** when I came it. Let me tell you something: creativity is an affliction, do you think it’s fun to see the ugliness in things and try to fix it with words? Do you think it’s fun seeing people and shapes distorted, the only way to deal with it being to paint it so everyone else can label it ‘abstract art’? Ask Beethoven, do you think it’s fun hearing not just voices, but sounds of harpsichords and oboes even when you are deaf? Ask him again…louder!

 

Is there money in art? I don’t know, have I ever asked you for money? If your answer is yes did I pay it back? When was the last time you saw me or my colleagues at a homeless shelter? How many artists come to your local soup kitchen? Is Doctor Dre a billionaire? How many rappers are millionaires? We are not all Picassos, granted, some of us might be Van Goughs, some leeches or parasites (probably of the ‘children’ variety) will spend our dues long after we are gone, that is well and dandy. You should realise that it’s not always about the money, hell, imagine if John Grisham had become a criminal, James Patterson never invented Alex Cross but chose to live life as his arch nemesis. Imagine if your favourite poet, probably poor as fuck decided he would rather open a church and prey on your gullibility? Here’s something to do: think of artists as monks and nuns in the service of God…or something.

 

Why do you do what you do? Honestly, I am asking you the same thing. Art may be a tough industry to break into, but you know what? So is medicine, seven years cutting up dead people can’t be fun; and there can be only one president at a time…sometimes a time means thirty-six years but who cares right? You mean we should do stuff because it’s easy? Are you proud of that thought? Are you proud of telling someone to stop doing what they are doing because it’s hard? Are you proud of your weakness and shedding it into other children? Shame on you! You know what else is hard? Accounting, not only do you have to know maths, you actually know how little your piece of the pie is compared to the whole. Now leave us alone and go bother them.

*May or may not be Philani A. Nyoni’s pseudonym.

Teenage farmer stuns Chirau community

 

by Watmore Makokoba

After failing to proceed with education, a 17-year-old  from Mareverwa village ward 12 has left Chirau community in Zvimba District astounded after coming tops in conservation farming and concurrently assuming the post of the ‘leading farmer’ in a group composed of 20 farmers. Seeing an insecure future, Tonderai Chifamba, who dropped school at form 3 after failing to secure fees decided to utilise available resources and venture into farming on his father’s piece of land.
Living in a communal area where the community largely depends on peasant farming and the soils have been heavily depleted of all the fertility over the years due to over usage, coupled with successive droughts that have hit the area, Tonderai had to find ways of making the land productive, otherwise his new found career in farming would be futile.

His parents, both alive, already burdened with looking after other siblings saw this as a breakthrough and supported him by allocating him a portion from the family’s piece of land, little did they know that this was the genesis of a marvel that would follow. Albeit the scanty piece of land at hand and inadequate inputs, Tonderai was not deterred but was determined to do not only his family proud but the whole of Chirau community.

“I dropped school in form three mid last year after my family failed to secure fees for me to proceed, my parents are both unemployed and I knew there was no hope in looking up to them,

“I nearly became hopeless until I decided to utilize what was available, my father’s small piece of land,

“ I decided to do the opposite of what the youths are doing when faced with my situation, many youths in my situation are idle and doing drugs, so I decided to set an example to my siblings that going to townships to look for employment is not the only solution available”, said Tonderai.

During the onset of the 2016 rain season, Environment Africa through financial support from Bread for the World – Protestant Development Service were implementing a community livelihoods improvement and climate change resilience-building project that would include localised responses to climate change phenomenon, to him this was a golden opportunity to augment his dream of becoming a farmer since there was nothing else for him to do in a country where many youths succumb juvenile delinquencies and drug abuse due to high unemployment.
The program’ s objective is to train groups of smallholder farmers on Conservation Agriculture (CA), provide inputs and offer support, monitoring and evaluation working hand in hand with the Agricultural Extension Officers and local seed producing companies.

When the time for the demo plots evaluations came, it was ‘bolt out of the blue’ to the Chirau Community that Tonderai, the youngest farmer ever to hail from the area, if not the country at large came out second in a group of 20 experienced and elder local farmers. Subsequently, Tonderai‘s achievement made him defy all odds as he was appointed lead frame of his group.

During the field day event held in the village, Chief Chirau applauded the young man and implored fellow youths to emulate what he has done. “I am grateful and moved by what this young man has done, this must be a template that we must adopt in our community from now onwards, we will from now on priorities the youths in all developmental programs so that they take charge of their destiny now, him,” said Chief Chirau.

Although Tonderai’s dream would have been to complete his education and perhaps pursue other career channels, fate and opportunity have opened a new chapter in his life that he has fallen in love with and accordingly, if there is any advancement he will undertake, it’s centered on enhancing his knowledge and skill in his newly found passion, conservation agriculture.

5 Things That Saved Moto Republik

 

by Munya Bloggo

City of Harare nearly demolished Moto Republik’s modern architectural building on March 9, 2017. Why a City Council would try and demolish a building they approved baffles me. The drama surrounding the incident has been resolved out of court but there are vital takeaways from the events for anyone who would find themselves in a similar situation. Here are 5 things that saved Moto Republik:

1. The Youth

As the council officials started cutting up the structures they instructed the community members to go back to work. Tafadzwa Tarumbwa who runs Totally2d from the hub responded “Where do you want us to go? This is our office”. It was the voice of young people that was heard the loudest during the #SaveMotoRepublik campaign. Moto Republik is a creative Hub and home to some of Zimbabwe’s leading new media initiatives such as Bustop TV, Spiked Her Zimbabwe and Mobile Community Zimbabwe. The Hub hosts many events, trainings and workshops for young people in Harare including the popular Hustlers Market, Women’s Creative Wednesdays and WordPress Meetup.

 


Such events provide opportunities for young people engaged in creative entrepreneurship. For most creatives, saving Moto Republik wasn’t just about fighting an injustice, it was about defending their home.

2. Social Media

It was Zanele Mhlaba who tweeted #SaveMotoRepublik without any further explanation. That’s all the #Twimbos needed to rally around the hashtag.

 

The news traveled faster as images of the council demolitions began to filter through social media. The anger was almost immediate. The hashtag garnered over 15 000 tweets. Often social media activists are labeled “key board activists” implying that they hide behind the safety of their screens. In this case,  social media was the biggest driver to the #SaveMotoRepublik petition on Change.org which was instrumental in growing political pressure on the elected officials.

 

3. Political Pressure

The #SaveMotoRepublik campaign received 1800 signatures on Change.org and was a viral social media trend for 3 days straight. The campaign appealed to Minister of Local Government Saviour Kasukuwere, Harare Mayor Benard Manyenyeni and the Harare Town Clerk to stop the demolition. By encouraging people to call, tweet, and tag these elected officials asking them to stop the demolition, pressure mounted on officials to respond to the public outcry. Harare Mayor Benard Manyenyeni called for an amicable resolution and so did the Minister of Local government Saviour Kasukuwere after touring Moto Republik. 


4. Ghinya

Ghinya means force in Zimbabwean street lingo. Harare City Council had given Moto Republik seven days to take down the structure. On D-day Moto Republik had an Open Day event with a braai, music and free wifi for its supporters, encouraging community members to rally around the creative youth center. 

5. Legal


Moto Republik also took a legal route, engaging its lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and filing for an urgent chamber application to stop the demolition of the container structures and compensation for the damages done the Moto Republik building. Eventually, the Harare City council opted for an out of court settlement.

 

BULAWAYO ARTS AWARDS: THE CLICHÉ SCRIPT

 

by Annonymous

Just after logging into twitter, I saw a retweet by one of the people I follow with #byoartsawards. The first thing that came to mind was, eeeeh what’s that? Does Bulawayo need to have its own awards, is the artistic talent from my city so desperate for awards that we have to have our own awards?

As I tried to work around it, something came to mind, who is behind this initiative? What are the motives? Six names came to mind; Raisedon Baya, Mambazo, Nkululeko Nkala, Babongile, Sarah Mpofu and Gilmore tee. I had to wait for the launch to see if the script playing in my head was dead on.

15 March arrived and what do you know? Three of the names there were in the forefront of things Raisedon, Nkue and Mambazo, an all too familiar team. This revelation presented my mind with a further script, the awards ceremony its self, how it will go down come 30 June 2017 at the Large City Hall.

Date 30 June 2017

Red carpet set up outside, a marimba group playing or a cultural dance group doing their thing for the arriving dignitaries, escorted by Fingers modeling agency models to their seats courtesy of Sarah Mpofu.

Inside the City hall, the usual Trusses will be set up on stage, sound culture providing the P A system as usual, blah blah blah. The first Act will be an ensemble of Siyaya and Iyasa doing their not so entertaining act (ref: NAMA 2012). For the awards Host(s) my mind at this, moment can’t really come up with the actual personnel by any of the following would most likely get it, Babongile, Authur Evans or Zwah. For this article, I will go with Babongile going solo. A lame joke to kick start the show is what he will throw and his loyal “fans “will laugh and that beginning of heavy bombardment of lame jokes throughout the night.

For awards presentation these people will most likely be there

The Mayor, Minister of State for Bulawayo province, if lucky the Deputy Minister of the Information and broadcasting services will be there, CEO of united refineries, Skymetro personalities, Sarah Mpofu, Chronicle personnel, Art gallery Director, Miss tourism and some other people that will be brought out from the bag.

For entertainment Sandra Ndebele and Mzoe7 will definitely grace the stage with their song Ingoma, Calvin will represent the hip hop side of things, Nobuntu will definitely be there with their lovely voices (the highlight of entertainment), my only hope is Jeys doesn’t perform because last time he performed at the NAMAs he sang about death, (like dude seriously)

The winners

Sandra Ndebele best video and Best single Calvin for best hip-hop and best male Nobuntu best group
Dj Liz / Emitty will get best DJ

Cont Mhlanga or Phathisa Nyathi will walk away with Life Achievement award Other winners will be those who lost out at the NAMAs

After this is all said and done let me come back to the reality of things.

Leading to this event is a number of things that will happen; urban culture magazine will write an article promoting the Awards, Bongani of the chronicle will also join in on the side of things.

“Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) are multi-disciplinary arts awards that recognise and honour exceptional individuals and collaborative artistic efforts in the city of Bulawayo, Mat North and South”, will read the intro of the article.

“The awards are being curated to recognise good effort and talent amongst local artists”. This is the selling point to Bulawayo artistic talent especially to those who want to feel relevant and feel they deserve some recognition, since well the national awards are “biased”.

Bongani will go as far as to express who should win Blah blah blah something the laziness of his reporting has exposed him on numerous occasions, while urban culture magazine will post one or two of their unpopular lists.

After the event nice tweets, articles will be written just to make people feel bad for not attending even though the event might have been poorly organised , something that won’t surprise me.

Let’s go back to who is behind this initiative? What are the motives?

The trio Raisedon, Mambazo and Nkululeko have been involved in the industry for a while now with Raisedon having some national awards to his name maybe the reason he wants his fellow artists to also have something in their cabinets.

Raisedon is Director for Intwasa arts festival which in recent years seems to be going on a downhill, and somehow lost the plot is not the purpose, shown by the monotonous events that happen every year with little creative or effort put across. Judging by last year’s edition which seemed to be a face saver one wonders if this year will see Intwasa grow.

Mambazo –Director Siyaya arts and Ibumba festival. Siyaya seems to be fading into the abyss as its Director was banned from the UK for reasons I won’t mention. As for Ibumba festival, this got to be one of the most disorganised festivals and if the NAC really was serious about arts this festival would have been scraped off. He also was part of the NAMA Local organising Committee for the two editions held in Bulawayo, the worst NAMAs to date (in my opinion).

Nkululeko – I know little about this gentleman other than he is an artist and that he is also involved in Intwasa.

Having said this summary about the trio one wonders what motives they have other than honouring artist from the South side of the country. To me I see seeking of relevance in the changing of Industry with young guys not waiting for them to open doors but take initiative, thumbs up to Cal_vin, that boy is hustling big time.

Having the awards sounds like a noble idea but when you then look at the personnel behind it, whose entities have not been attracting new sponsors or partners, will the awards face the same fate as their current entities – lose taste, and get shunned by businesses. What new thing will come from the personnel, I for one don’t trust them.

The awards also adopted the same way to get nominees, artist must apply, hasn’t the NAMAs proved that it doesn’t work and its archaic thinking. Artist should be honored and rewarded by what we see hear and see not what they can submit on an application form.

In a country where people talk of change in the upper end of things as far as government is concerned, it is sad that the same change is not being given a chance in the lower end of things.

Good luck Bulawayo Arts Awards, I will be there and will get in for free and die of boredom then write another article.

I know this article will be met with a lot of negativity but hey, someone has to say the truth about those in our arts industry if artists are to grow and make a meaningful living out of their work. Let’s STOP mediocrity.

This article was contributed via Tipster an award winning Bulawayo-based startup