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Zhakata fights the odds

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After two years of unfruitful attempts to have his album released by Zimbabwe Music Corporation (ZMC) and subsequent reluctance by the record company to release his master copy, Leonard Zhakata has decided to go it alone and ensure that his fans finally get the product.

The album Gotwe/ Last Born has been at the centre of a wrangle between the musician and the record stable.

Zhakata recently claimed that ZMC was refusing to release the master copy for his album for unclear reasons after he dumped the stable over the overdue album.

The musician revealed that he had made a decision to ensure that his fans get the album under whatever circumstances.

“I have a mandate to serve my fans and I will make sure that they will get the album. I do not think record companies should stand between me and my fans.

“I will ensure that they get the album even if it means producing the album, on my own and giving it for free to my fans,” said Zhakata.

“I am determined to do my best and my fans have to know that I work to satisfy them.

“The album will be out in the near future and I will announce the date to my fans during one of my shows. Our fans have never failed us because they have supported us unconditionally. They have to get what they deserve and no one has the right to short-change them.”

ZMC managing director Emmanuel Vori revealed that they had written a letter to Zhakata explaining their position regarding the album, but the musician was still to respond.

“We have written to him and he has not responded. It is now up to him to choose what is best for him,” said Vori without hinting on the contents of the letter.

The musician refused to comment on statements from ZMC saying he did not want to talk about record companies because the important issue was his bond with fans.

In an earlier interview with this writer, Zhakata revealed that he suspected his row with ZMC could be politically motivated after some people at the stable told him that some of the songs had been politically interpreted.

The musician has now resorted to playing his new songs at shows so that fans get a taste of what they have been deprived of over the past two years when the album was kept on ZMC shelves.

He has deliberately invited his fans to sample his music at a show at City Sports Bar on Saturday by clearly stating on promotional material that the show would unveil a live performance of songs on the new album.

A spokesperson of City Sports Bar said they were happy to host Zhakata at a time when he is willing to reach out to his audience with the new album.

“He has been talking about the album a lot and we are excited that he has decided to play the new songs to his fans at the show on Saturday,” said the spokesperson.

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