Musicians push govt for total opening of sector

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Vasco Chaya


NEGOTIATIONS are underway between musicians and the government as the former are pushing for total re-opening of the arts sector, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz) director Nicholas Moyo has said.

Moyo, who was the guest of honour at the launch of Allan Chimbetu’s latest album Urgent Matter, said musicians are ready to go back to work.

“For the past eight months, artists have not been able to go about their business in a normal way hence it has affected their livelihoods. We are thankful to government for partially re-opening the sector and we are looking forward to further engagements for our musicians to enjoy the same privilege that has been given to the so-called risk sectors.

“We believe musicians are now ready to go back to work,” Moyo said.

To curb the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), the government put in place a national lockdown and barred live musical concerts.

The move has negatively affected the music industry, a development which has seen some musicians resorting to online gigs which are not as rewarding as live shows.

As a result, Chimbetu launched Urgent Matter, his fifth studio album, digitally with the support of Selmor Mtukudzi and Mathias Mhere.

The launch was broadcast live on ZTV and on social media pages including Fasfit Matlock, who sponsored the event.

Mtukudzi was the first to perform.

She performed both her compositions as well as her late father (Oliver Mtukudzi)’s hits such as Mutserendende and Munondipasa Manyemwe among others.

After Selmor, Mhere took the stage, showcasing his popular hits such as Favour, Zino Irema and Usavimbe Nemunhu among others before leaving the stage for the main attraction, Chimbetu.

Chimbetu’s fifth studio album is made up of 10 tracks including Urgent Matter, Sorry, Mudzimai Akarongeka and Kombe (Mambure).

Spotting the dendera trademark hair cut, black shirt and beige trousers, Chimbetu performed most of the songs on the latest album while showcasing some of his old hits such as Sonny in between.

On the album, Chimbetu worked with three music producers: Munya Viayali, Trust Samende and Keith Farquharson.

Chimbetu’s discography comprises of Professor, Sonny, Simukai and Covenant (Chitenderano).

In a previous interview with the Daily News, Fasfit Matlock manager Caroline Chizema said Chimbetu approached them asking for US$150 help.

“After rendering the help, we saw it fit to extend the help to recording this album. We are free to work with any musician, provided he or she has the potential. We are happy Chimbetu’s album has the potential to transform his fortunes in the music industry,” Chizema said.

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