Music Crossroads national finals slated for First Street Mall

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Ten groups are set to lock horns in the Music Crossroads Zimbabwe national finals slated for January 21 next year in Harare.

What is amazing about this year’s finals is the choice of venue that has been proposed — the First Street Mall in the city centre.

In an interview with the NewsDay, Mathias Bangure, director of Music Crossroads Zimbabwe, said: “We have decided to do it differently this time around. The venue for the finals will be the First Street Mall in the capital city. We have decided to go to the people than have people come to us. We hope it will be an exciting event.”

Groups that participated at last year’s competition have been given another chance since the competition will feature finalists from last year.

“We have decided to call back last year’s competitors because lately we have been facing financial constraints that eventually influenced the decision to pick out groups from the set of participants at last year’s competition,” said Bangure.

From Midlands and Masvingo come Steel Throbe and Afro-Vision while Savannah Afros and John Pfumojena will represent Harare. African Tribe and Destiny will represent Bulawayo and Matabeleland North respectively with Mookomba set to be the guest band.

Mashonaland Central will be represented by The Way Band, African Voices will stand for Mashonaland West while from Mashonaland East and Manicaland will come Hungwe Stars with the 2010 regional winners, Club Shanga, featuring as the guest band.

Club Shanga won the national competition last year and went on to represent the country well at regional finals.

The winner and first runner-up at next year’s national competition will stand a chance to represent the country at the Music Crossroads Inter-regional Finals set for Maputo on February 8 to February 13.

The winning group at the inter-regional competition will be awarded a slot to go on a European tour.

Organisers said participants at the national final would take part in workshops to enlighten them on various aspects of the music industry.

“Before the national competition, participants will attend workshops on HIV and Aids, gender, relationships as well instruments, stage performance, voice training, band management, copyright law, marketing and promotion, for two days,” said Bangure.

He added workshops would be facilitated by some of Zimbabwe’s accomplished musicians and lecturers from the Zimbabwe College of Music.

“Over the years a number of personalities including Isaac Chirwa, Busi Ncube, Andy Brown and lecturers from the College of Music have given back to the community through helping the youths to develop their technical and professional skills at Music Crossroads workshops.”

For most of the youths taking part, the competition provides the first opportunity for public performance using a professional public address system.

Popular local artists that are products of the Music Crossroads competition include Progress Chipfumo and First Farai.

Next year’s finals have been made possible by the Culture Fund Trust of Zimbabwe and Africalia, a Belgium-based organisation responsible for developing raw talent and supporting artists.