© ZIMBABWEAN musicians are breaking local records with several of them hitting the landmark million views on the YouTube online video-streaming platform.
The platform has exposed local music to wider audiences while at the same time earning those who would have hit that mark a fat cheque.
YouTube has thus opened a lucractive revenue stream for local musicians at a time when traditional record labels like Gramma Records, Zimbabwe Music Corporation, Record And Tape Promotions are no longer distributing meaningful royalties because of rampant piracy in the music industry.
And thanks to YouTube and several other online marketing platforms!
Towering music sensation Jah Prayzah leads the pack with his video song Watora Mari — a duet with Tanzania’s Diamond Platinumz — hitting the roof with more than 10 million hits.
As a result, Jah Prayzah was able to make some money since a video creator can roughly earn US$2 000 for every million views on the popular video-streaming platform.
Recently, South Africa-based gospel musician Togarepi Chivaviro was over the moon after his smash hit Ebenezer reached three million hits on YouTube.
Chivaviro was excited to be, arguably, the first local gospel musician to reach that milestone in a country with a small population of approximately 15 million people.
Winky D and Gemma Griffiths’ smash hit MuGarden has already surpassed the three million mark on YouTube.
Chegutu-based musician Obert Chari’s popular song Mebo is set to transform his fortunes after the popular track recently generated a million hits on YouTube.
The musical video was posted on YouTube last year in April.
“This is a milestone for me considering I did not market the song but fans just fell in love with it.
“When I released the song, I was a nonentity; I never thought I would get a million followers in the music industry,” Chari said.
“I am also happy that we have received a note from YouTube concerning the money.”
Chari told our sister publication the Daily News that the development has given him more energy and confidence to work hard so as to maintain or surpass the standard he set on Mebo.
“I now feel appreciated and I promise to maintain the standard. More good music is in the pipeline. I do not doubt what God has blessed me with.”
While these contemporary musicians are making a good impression on the digital platform, there is another interesting observation to make regarding yesteryear Zimbabwean hit songs.
These old-school hit songs are still popular with fans, and they are generating millions of views as well on YouTube to compete with recently-released music.
Leonard Zhakata’s song Nzombe Huru, released in 1996 but posted on YouTube eight years ago, boasts of 1,3 million hits on YouTube.
Fans are still enjoying the song up to this day as evidenced by recent comments the song is generating on the digital media platform.
The late Dendera music icon Simon Chimbetu’s track Samatenga boasts of 1,1 million views on YouTube.
The song, off the studio album Nguva Yakaoma, was released in 1990.
One of the most-listened to sungura tracks on YouTube is Zuva Rimwe (remix video) by the late Leonard Dembo.
The song, released early in the 1990s has generated more than five million hits.
Veteran gospel musician Charles Charamba’s song Buruka, off the studio album Exodus released in 2001, has 1,2 million hits.
His wife, Olivia Charamba’s Ndirangarirei, off the studio album Amen released in 2000, has 1,3 million views.
She also boasts of her song Hakuna Chombo which has generated 1,2 million views over the years.
Shingisai Suluma’s Maitiro Enyu has a million hits.
The late Oliver Mtukudzi has a number of old songs with over a million views on YouTube.
Some of the songs include Mutserendende, which has 1,5 million hits, Chiri Nani has 1,3 million views and Dzoka Uyamwe is sitting on 1,4 million views.
Other popular Mtukudzi songs are Todii, 2,4 million views, Wasakara 3,1 million hits, Into Yami featuring Ringo Madhlingozi has 2,6 million views and Seiko Mwari has 1,2 million.