CAN ZIMDANCEHALL WOO YOUNG VOTERS

 

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

As the campaign for 2018 elections gathers momentum, political parties, presented with a puzzle on how they can entice the young people to vote have turned to popular Zimdancehall artists to lure them.

Zimdancehall is one of the most sought-after, popular music genre followed most by youths in Zimbabwe.

Previously,  there has been voter apathy among the youths and it remains a question if this popular culture can be a panacea to woe young voters?

In a situation where most of the sought after young population demography are virgin voters,  there is need to captivate them to register to vote and participate in the forthcoming elections.

According to Lauren deLisa Coleman in an article entitled ‘Reaching Millennials Through Pop Culture published in Campaigns and Elections, 2016, “Popular culture is a powerful tool in an increasingly fragmented society. It’s what often times is the key manner in which to link people, especially when it comes to certain Millennial sub-demos,”.

This assertion is relevant here because we have a fragmented country which has an older generation that endured the colonial regime and welcomed the country’s independence with much anticipation.

The second generation is the so-called ‘born-frees’ who could have enjoyed a few years of the ‘good times’ and now the Millennials who were born when the economy had already started falling. The afore observation present an inherent need to use pop culture(Zimdancehall)to encourage the young folk to get registered to vote by engaging popular artists who have become role models to them.

The observation explains why it has proved effective to use pop culture (Zimdancehall) to encourage the young folk to get registered to vote by engaging popular artists who have become role models to these young people.

Recently, ZimRights and ERC (Elections Resource Centre) launched a voter mobilisation programme at Chigovanyika Shopping Centre in Chitungwiza where thousands of young people in the satellite town came to witness the event which was graced by Soul Jah Luv ‘Chibaba’ and Guspy Warrior. Nearby was the BVR registration centre which the CSOs encouraged people to visit after taking them through the BVR exercise.

The massive turn out undoubtedly could have been triggered by the presence of this revered Zimdancehall artists and the CSOs are going to be using the same ‘modus operandi’ across the country.

Zanu PF has roped in Zimdancehall artistes at its interface rally and the opposition should not under-estimate that this popular culture can be a vehicle to rally the masses to vote out Zanu PF next year.

So it remains to be seen whether Zimdancehall can be used as a tool for voter mobilisation and participation in the political process.

 

ZIM HIP-HOP HEADS CRAFT WAYS TO STAY IN THE GAME

 

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

Local MCs are devising many ways to keep the popular genre alive and make it pay at the same time.

On Saturday, Shoko Festival hosted the first ever Zim Hip Hop summit jointly organised by Jibilika to discuss pertinent issues affecting the industry and it was graced by many celebrated hip-hop heads, promoters among many other stakeholders.

Tehn Diamond conceded that hip-hop artists were not upping their game to make the genre a career.

“We are not working enough and we are not building businesses,” he alluded.

Controversial Stunner (real name Desmond Chideme), who has been in the game for a while also reiterated the need for his fellow hip-hop artists to continue releasing albums and performing despite the adversities.

“Honestly speaking mates, we just need to continue to make music and perform even if it means performing for a few people. Consistency will build up to something   I guarantee you that,” the award-winning artist said.

Revered hip-hop producer Kudakwashe  Musasiwa popularly known as Begotten Son urged rappers to circumvent ways to make money rather than playing the blame-game.

“Artistes have to find ways to make money rather than crying foul of various obstacles. Let’s take for example when Junior Brown released the smash song ‘Tongogara’ and used Whatsapp to sell the song which amassed a whopping 5 thousand units,” said Begotten Son.

CBZ bank represented by its senior manager, group marketing, Joel Gombera extended a helping hand to hip-hop heads by proposing to facilitate a business workshop for them so that they can find means to monetize their craft.

“I may not be a hip-hop enthusiast but as CBZ we will be eager to facilitate a workshop for you so that you can build businesses out of your works,” said Gombera much to the appreciation of artists who attended the one-day convention.

Another major talking point was the need for lyricism with relevance to entice the local audience

Visiting South African hip-hop artiste Siyabonga “Slikour” Metane formerly with Skwatta Camp said most African MCs have a tendency to mimic  American hip-hop artists.

“The problem with a lot of   African rappers is that they want to sound and mirror-like American rappers,” bemoaned Slikour.

Comedian Boss Kedha, who is a die-hard fan of hip-hop also shared the same sentiments that MCs should make lyrics that are not devoid of the everyday lives people are living and many participants attested to that saying that is the main reason why the genre is playing second fiddle to Zimdancehall.

 

Pic credit: ZIMBUZZ

CREATIVE HUBS NEEDS PROPS

 

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

Creative hubs are now havens for most young innovators and can realize their full potential if they are supported by both government and the corporate world.

These sentiments were echoed by  Sean Ndlovu, co-director at Centre for Innovation and Technology (Cite) when he presented at the Zimbabwe  Internet Governance multi-stakeholders workshop organized by Misa-Zimbabwe held in Harare last week.

“Creative hubs have a potential business that needs to be harnessed as they are a place where young enterprising creatives and innovators meet and discuss ideas that can empower themselves and foster economic growth and this can be done either by the government and the corporate world chipping in,” said Ndlovu.

The young innovator challenged creative hubs leaders to craft business models that can sustain the hubs rather than depending wholly on donor-funds.

“Most creative hubs are donor-funded and this is not sustainable in the sense that when funding stops they suffer immensely, so there is the need to come up with business models that will ensure that the creative hubs sustain themselves,” advised Ndlovu.

He went on to say that at Cite they had monetised some of the internet services they offer to the community.

“For example at Cite we have already started the initiative of commercialising some of the internet services we offer to the community there but obviously at nominal fees,” added Sean.

Dumisani Nkala of Telco(internet services provider) weighed in saying there was a huge potential revenue base in the ICT sector but regulatory taxes were inhibiting the growth of the sector.

She also added that this was the main reason behind why the country‘s internet charges were among the most expensive in the continent.

Technology has seen a number of young innovators and creatives in Zimbabwe coming up with startups and other initiatives that are empowering them though experts argue that there is the need for a better enabling environment for them to realise their full potential.

It is against this background that there has been an upsurge of creative hubs like Cite and Tech Village in Bulawayo, Moto Republik, B2C Co-working Space and Stimulus in Harare just to mention but a few.

Last year Moto Republik creative hub nearly got demolished after the City of Harare (CoH) condemned the structure built of shipping containers as illegal, however, the demolition was stopped after the interventions of CoH Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni.

 

Move over silence, its ‘ding dong’ time for Africa

 

By Watmore Makokoba

And who said Africa cannot sing? Before this article is published echoes of talent from Harare will be singing to the whole world through the newly launched, first in Africa, “Mix The City Harare” which will allow people to explore and create music free online.

Launched yesterday by the British Council, Mix the City Harare showcases the diversity of sound music, and cultural influences from Zimbabwe‘s capital city Harare on one online platform where people from all over the world can now discover the sights and sounds of Harare and be able to create their own mix through a simple and intuitive audio/visual platform for mobiles, tablets and computers.

Original music samples already on the platform have been compiled by UK music –producer Boxed In (Oli Baystone) into short audio/video samples featuring 12 Zimbabwean musicians including Dr Oliver Mtukudzi, Douglas Vambe, Soul Jah Love, Jah Prayzah, Amara Brown, Josh Mech, DJ Ray, Dizz Othnell Mangoma Moyo, Blessing ‘Bled Chimanga, DJ Smiley, Prince Edward School Marimba Band and renowned apostolic choral group Vabati va Jehovah.

One of the participating artist songbird Amara Brown said she was excited to be part of the project.

“It was exhilarating working with fellow talented artists, at first I could not believe I can be able to compose a song abruptly at once like that, it was really inspiring and I think this is the opportune time to put Zimbabwe on the map”, Ammara Brown.

The musicians were recorded in unique locations across the country and samples from each musician can be combined and mixed to compose a soundtrack that the user can share on their social media channels directly from the website.

The  recordings were done at the Lion and Cheetah Park, National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare International Airport, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Joina City Mall, Kuimba Shiri Bird Sanctuary , the legendary Dr Oliver Mtukudzi’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre , JP Studios owned by Jah Prayzah, Prince Edward School Chapel , Mbare Flats and Julius Nyerere Footbridge.

The producer who worked with the artists Oliver Bayston said he cherishes the golden opportunity to have worked with Zimbabwean artists who have proved that they are talent-laden and can fit into any situation without any challenges.

“I am honoured to take part in the project and meeting such talented and incredible array of talented and interesting musicians has been a defining moment in my life of making music,

“I want to thank everyone at the British Council for their brilliant work on the project and send greetings to all the new friends and musicians I met in Harare” Bayston said.

“A brilliant insight into the beauty of Harare and the music of Zimbabwe, its diversity and heritage, I hope Mix The City Harare will provide a platform to challenge and to connect to the UK and beyond”,  said British Council Zimbabwe Director Sam Harvey.

Mix The City Harare is the first of its kind in the whole of Africa, users from over 208 countries and over two million people have already accessed the Mix The city platform worldwide. The project was partly funded by Econet Wireless and supported by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Tourism, Hospitality and Industry and the Harare International Festive of Arts (HIFA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 2 Cents on Alcohol Ban

 

By Kalabash Contributor

 

I am not an alcoholic but a mere habitual drinker who enjoys beer and sometimes a glass of whiskey every now and then. I am about to share my thoughts on the government’s new move to restrict alcohol consumption. Please give me a benefit of a doubt if I come off as an alcoholic who refuses to accept any change.

The Sunday Mail reports that the government intends to put in structures and policies that will effectively reduce the alcohol consumption on a national scale and one way they would do this which they say is reaching worrying levels is just but another case of misplaced priorities.

Delta beverages remain with a somewhat monopoly in the alcohol manufacturing bit and their financials do not suggest that their business is booming. Like many corporations that continue to keep their doors open, they are barely making ends meet. Once more please forgive me if I come off as the devil’s advocate on this.

In the past decade, Zimbabwe has witnessed even harder illegal drugs making their way into the society to pacify the majority of Zimbabwe’s youth who struggle to shoulder the burdens of this life sober. The burdens that come with staying in Zimbabwe are much worse when you are educated and ambitious yet the odds of unemployment and an education that propels their ambition which isn’t any good when this nation’s odds are stacked against.

In my view the move by government is a classic case of misplaced priorities as there is need to focus on solutions to stop these illegal and lethal yet affordable beverages that are making its way into the black market along with other hard drugs which include pills and the cough syrups that continue to be an alternative to alcohol.

Times are hard, many have found themselves in debt because they cannot afford access to healthcare and they end up at the mercy of the vicious debt collectors and in turn lose their property. Making healthcare accessible and rebuilding the country’s social services which will afford those who cannot pay for healthcare should be high on the agenda as well.

Just like the goods that were banned from being imported into the country but still find their way to the High Table of some political party function. The alcohol ban will not do much, people will get more creative on how they sell alcohol, in fact, the black market will boom when they add to alcohol to list of their contraband.