The Tragedy Of The Starving Artist

When we read in the news today that Andy Brown’s widow Nadine Stoddart had fallen on such hard times she had to resort to marijuana peddling, the heart sank.

She escaped jail after a Magistrate decided to wholly suspend a 74-day jail sentence as long as she pays $80 as a fine for illegal possession of marijuana of a street value of $27 as well has Broncleer.

Stoddart denied that she uses Broncleer but admitted to marijuana use because of her asthmatic condition. Then the heartbreaking part. She said she had to sell marijuana to support her kids.

Sell marijuana to support her kids.

Now, if you have ever heard Nadine, as I will now refer to her because that is her stage name, you will know she sings like an angel. She is an amazing artist and in many economies she would be well compensated.

The thing is she is an example of so many artists in Zimbabwe who would love to entertain you because that is all they want to do. The only way they can do that is if they get compensated for it. Sadly, more often than  that you sit there and ridicule them. You say, havana kurongeka, as if they are incapable of being responsible.

They get offered bad deals, someone sneaks into their shows without paying, people constantly expect free tickets  but they don’t realise that for that act to come back, it has to be paid for.

Every so often, it is lost on people that they are human. Just human.

They want to live, just like you.

  • carl joshua ncube


  • Tawanda Mhuriro

    It’s truly sad. Same goes for Biggie Tembo’s wife who’s living in poverty in Mbare. And to think this is a widow of somebody who toured places and sold numerous records. you would think there would be royalties for the dead beneficiaries or something… #TrulySad

    • That’s why we mentioned bad contracts among the horrible things that happen to artists

  • Mcpotar

    Quite sad indeed and I believe a lot needs to change…

  • Koshen

    Zimbabwe has some really talented entertainers, on all levels. Its sad because our entertainment ‘industry’ has not yet evolved nor have we started to take it seriously. It cannot be functional without support from us all. When you go into South Africa, you see an industry that is growing, self sufficient and influential. Until we start working on rebuilding our ourselves, artists like Nadine and many others will not be compensated fully for their talents. We cannot call it an industry when the so called performers are not reaping anything, there is nothing industrious about that. Bad deals are common, that too needs to be tackled through educational workshops and knowing the entertainment laws available (if any).

    • It’s just incredible what they have to go thru

    • SpiritOfNehanda

      A stable and profitable entertainment industry can only exist in an environment of economic success. When a country cannot provide electricity and clean water for 24hours per day in any given neighborhood, the least important thing economically is any form of entertainment industry. Its unfortunate most of them have to live this way, but the time will come, maybe for the next generation of entertainers…

      • Koshen

        And that too is sad, our economy is very much bruised and any hopes of it recovering are slim (atleast for now). In terms talking about successful entertainers in Zimbabwe, I can only think of the few that are managing to still do things internationally and get support from outside. Otherwise our country is a s**thole if I may put it one word. I dream of that time when everything is in place and we can maybe enjoy the fruits of a profitable industry.