The Bulawayo Musicians’ Association is mooting plans to declare a flat rate for all performances to counter exploitation of musicians, NewsDay has learnt.
According to Asaph Kudita, public relations officer for the association, members have expressed concern at the continued exploitation of musicians by show organisers who often reap huge profits from the shows while paying the artistes peanuts.
“We want to counter a situation whereby some unscrupulous businesspeople hire musicians to perform and then give them food as payment and some few drinks,” said Kudita. “We want musicians to be treated fairly”.
At a meeting held recently by musicians in Bulawayo, members also indicated that they were not happy with little or no airplay for their music on national radio and lack of unity among artistes.
The musicians also said they need opportunities for education and training.
“We are fortunate in that there is a local studio that has pledged to work with us in the training of musicians,” Kudita said.
“Some of our members will also attend an arts management workshop in Harare next month that is sponsored by the Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts.”
He said the association would this year go all out in a quest to have musicians trained.
“Lack of knowledge is dangerous and exposes people to exploitation. We want our members to be aware of their rights through taking part in continuous training,” he said.
Kudita also said the association would early this year hold a show featuring artistes who perform in different genres.
“The expectation is that the event will enhance visibility and help raise the profile of local artistes,” he said.
Members of the association include Jeys Marabini, Khuxman and Ernest Masongela. Many top musicians from Bulawayo such as Albert Nyathi and Dudu Manhenga have since relocated to Harare where there are better business prospects.