‘Dancehall music overtaking sungura’

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HARARE – Promoters are now turning their backs on sungura musicians and focusing on the dancehall genre as sungura artistes seem  to have nothing unique to offer.

Speaking ahead of the much-hyped City Sports Centre gig dubbed ‘King of the Dancehall’ to be held on December 6 in the capital, Redrose Entertainment director Barbra Chikosi said dancehall is now the way to go.

“When I started promoting dancehall genre around 1999, it was not as viable as it is right now.

“Sungura used to rule the roost during those days but the trend has since changed mainly due to the fact that sungura artistes are taking long to release new albums hence they have nothing new to offer.

“Sungura musicians are recycling the same material on different concerts hence it becomes monotonous,” she said.

Chikosi told the Daily News that dancehall is more appealing to the youths who constitute a large chunk of the total population in the country.

“Dancehall mostly appeals to youths who constitute a large number of the country’s population.

“When we started promoting dancehall artistes, the number of musicians was less as compared to now.

“2009 witnessed less than five musicians sharing a stage now the figure has ballooned to more than 25 performing artistes,” she said adding that dancehall musicians are cheaper as compared to their sungura counterparts.

“The cost of hiring 25 dancehall artistes at once is almost equivalent to that of hiring three musicians of Alick Macheso’s calibre.”

More than 25 dancehall musicians including Lady Squanda and Ricky Fire among others are all set to share the stage at City Sports Centre in December.

Biggie Chinoperekwei the City Sports Bar proprietor had also projected a boom in the dancehall sector though he cited lack of professionalism among the genre’s artistes as a stumbling block to success.

“Dancehall has potential to become the leading genre in the country because it has a huge  fanbase of young followers but the artistes need self-discipline to achieve this,” he said.

Currently a number of concerts featuring dancehall artistes are topping the charts in Harare and surrounding towns and cities.

Fans were recently treated to dancehall festivals in various parts of Harare such as Gwanzura Stadium, Dzivaresekwa Stadium and Cresta Lodge among others.

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