Celebrate Local Concert Flops But It’s Not All Disaster
Jive Zimbabwe jumped deep into the cesspool of madness that is sometimes the local entertainment scene.
They took something head on. The biggest issue has been trying to get local music to get the billing international acts get. Beyond that, Jive Zimbabwe director Benjamin Nyandoro told us that the idea was to celebrate everything local:
We want all stakeholders to get involved to celebrate local culture from music to flagship brands in other sectors.
Noble idea right?
So why did so few turn up and why was the programme all over the place.
Look, there are a loads of reasons we can give in throws of emotions, but here are three things they got wrong:
- Marketing: When we checked with lovers of music from those performers it was clear that either knew nothing or precious little about it. The public didn’t feel like they owned it. Not that they didn’t want to support local but there just wasn’t that ownership.
- Location: Linked to marketing is location. A lot of the groups do not have a crowd that goes to HICC to watch them. 7 Arts, yes, but they would never go to that part of the world for a show. No idea why, for whatever the reason but some people just roll that way. That is the size of the venue. At the best of times, it is a difficult to handle and this was always going big ask
- The sound. There is a reason why certain service providers get the gigs. This sound service provider was one of the worst we have ever come across. A complete, utter disaster, disrespectful to the artists and to the fans. You simply can’t have that sort of sound at a function like that.
Some will throw in that there was no dancehall component to the show but in reality does there have to be? The composition of artists is good enough to stage a huge show when the right elements are made to work.
Why is it not a disaster?
First and foremost there can be worse starts to these things. It is a point one can start from but should not be where one finishes. Success is a journey not a conclusion.
A fact is that the first show got the trailblazing Mokoomba on that stage. Hope Masike was on that stage along with a lot of other artists, all who came to celebrate local music.
With stages quickly disappearing and there being a need for growth local artists have to take this direction more. It is all very well to be great at small stages and all. But what about the big, less intimate stages. The kind of stages that will see you getting a call from festival circuits or to headline shows in other countries.
Don’t get it twisted. Not everyone has to want that. Some are happy for small spaces to become their identity, bread and butter. But if Zimbabwe wants to be seen to be having a mass market industry it has to start using bigger stages for local acts outside the dancehall shows featuring 50 artists and an audience paying 2-3 dollars to get in.
It simply has to be more. Celebrating local is not difficult. But entertainment has to be sexy.