Bulawayo artists are struggling to pay their monthly $2 subscriptions to the Bulawayo Music Association and this has left the association in a financial quandary.
The music association was formed in 2004 but folded due to the economic meltdown that hit the country in the last decade. It was revived last year, with the aim of promoting and uplifting artists from Matabeleland and addressing their needs.
A member of the association, who spoke on condition that he is not named, said most of the artists from the region were struggling to make ends meet and most of them went for months without holding shows.
“It is not surprising that some of the artists are failing to pay $2.
The main problem is that shows are hard to come by and when they do the money they are paid won’t be enough to cover other expenses they incur. We are talking about people who have families to take care of,” said the artist.
The chairman of the 40-member association, Khulekani “Khuxman” Bethule, confirmed that most of the artists, including some well-known entertainers, were reluctant to pay their subscriptions.
“This is a problem we are currently facing as an association. Most of our members are having problems paying $2. When we confront them they tell us they do not have money since they are struggling to secure shows,” said Bethule.
According to Bethule, the subscriptions are mainly used to keep the association running and fulfil their financial obligations like rentals, pegged at $50 per month.
“At the moment the money we collect goes straight to our rentals. In most cases it won’t be enough and we have to top up with our own funds,” he added.
The association also formed a burial society in case a member or any of their family members dies.
However, artists are also failing to pay those subscriptions which are also pegged at $2.
“Our burial society coffers are also at zero and we do not know what will happen in the event that a member of our association passes on,” said Bethule.
With the festive season fast approaching, the association is optimistic that business will honour their financial obligations.