Showbiz welcomes US dollar return

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©️ SHOWBIZ players are hoping the reintroduction of the formal use of foreign currency extends even after coronavirus (Covid-19).

The government, through Statutory Instrument 85 of 20, legalised the use of foreign currency in charging for goods and services and this has been embraced in several sectors.

Showbiz events have been put on hold as a measure to curb the spread of the virus, which has since hit the country and affected several nations, and the announcement of foreign currency return came after the ban.

If the use of foreign currency is to be abolished after the containment of Covid-19 it means showbiz players will not have benefited as has other sectors.

The use of foreign currency has been witnessed in local showbiz with a number of events being pegged in US dollars long before the latest legalisation.

The recently postponed Burna Boy-headlined concert was pegged at US$35 or the equivalent of local currency and this goes for several others, including those headlined by local acts.
US$5 had become the benchmark for a number of local events.

Showbiz watcher Benjamin Nyandoro told the Daily News yesterday that foreign currency brings stability and will make the planning of events easy.

“Events are planned in advance and currency stability means one is able to budget and commit. Putting a price tag in local currency for an event that will be coming in three months was not possible but in US dollar terms, this can be done,” he said.

Stability brought about by the use of foreign currency will, according to showbiz players, make it easy to plan.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Music Promoters Association chair Josh Hozheri said foreign currency brings stability.

“The US dollar is good for our industry because it is stable unlike the local currency which is eroded on a daily basis. It brings stability and the paying public can plan and budget without fear of fluctuations in charges. Service providers such as advertisers and marketing will have set figures,” he said.

Tamba Events, organisers of Braai Out Zimbabwe, said the return of the US dollar would allow them to properly plan their events.

“This will be a welcome development because planning an event in local currency was becoming difficult. Coming up with a budget in local currency was difficult because by the time you would get to the event the books would not balance. This move means one will realise better returns after an event,” Nigel Chinovhiringa said.
Dancehall star Winky D’s manager, Jonathan Banda, said any pronouncement will have an impact and reflected on showbiz.

“Any economic pronouncement will be reflected on showbiz. Showbiz is always affected by disposable incomes and this is shown by the numbers at shows. If numbers are plummeting, it means people are operating on shoe-string budgets which do not allow them to spend on shows. So, we will wait and see how this announcement goes,” he said.
Singer Alick Macheso’s handlers said the impact of the return will only be noticed once they resume work.

“This is a new law and we will wait and assess the impact on our work. Currency issues always have an impact on showbiz. A number of services were being charged in US dollars which was a burden not only to us but several sectors, including our patrons,” Tich Makahamadze, Macheso’s publicist, said.

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