LOCAL musicians have embarked on an online petition calling on government to enact a 90 percent local content policy on all radio stations.
Zimbabwe Musicians Union (Zimu) chairperson Edith WeUtonga said such a development will enhance creativity among the artists, give Zimbabwe a sense of pride in national culture and languages and increase listenership base for the musician. This will also create employment through the music value chain among other benefits.
“We have musicians who have never played on national radio even when they have submitted their music and as a union we have received several complaints from musicians and their representatives over the uneven field in radio.
“Some have labelled the national radio as ‘‘Harare Radio’’ as they believe only those in the capital get a fair share of airplay. We are therefore pushing to enforce a 90 percent local content policy as this will increase our chances of being played.”
WeUtonga said the 75 percent local content policy introduced by self-exiled former minister of Information Jonathan Moyo through the Broadcasting Services Act of 2000 yielded desired results then.
“Prior to the 75 percent local content policy, the DJs played more music from outside the country as they felt this was more popular. After the policy was introduced, the fortunes changed for many local musicians as they began to enjoy some air play.
“New sounds from Zimbabwe were heard on local radio first. One can trace the rise of Zimdancehall and urban grooves back to the days of the local content policy.
“The 75 percent is not being fully recognised by radio stations that have reverted back to playing more foreign content,” she said.
When Moyo introduced the 75 percent local content policy around 2000, it resulted in the popularity of urban grooves music in the country.