MUTARE Musicians from Manicaland have demanded that as the hosting province they should be awarded a larger slot to perform at this years 21st Movement Bash scheduled for Sakubva Stadium on February 25.
They complained that they have been sidelined in several national events even those held in their province.
During the 2010 Unity Gala held at the same venue, only two resident bands were given a platform to perform, a scenario they seek to address at President Robert Mugabes 88th birthday commemoration.
The point was raised at the 21st Movement inaugural provincial meeting by farmer-cum-musician Joshua Mukuwasha Sacco and backed by several other artists. Veteran musician Hosiah Kwachu Kwachu Chipanga put his weight behind the move.
Traditionally, when something is happening at a homestead, the head of the house is supposed to lead the proceedings, no matter how poor he is, said Chipanga.
With the 21st Movement commemorations taking place here (Mutare) it would be proper for us as the hosting province to be given the lions share of time to perform, for a change.
Gospel diva Agartha Murudzwa also shared the same sentiments.
You cannot have a situation whereby visitors take the limelight at the expense of the locals. They cannot be on the forefront of an initiative that is happening in our province, said Murudzwa.
This is a very good step and beginning for Manicaland artists. By giving us a larger platform to perform, we will be able to expose all the talent hidden within the province. There is a general misconception that everything is centred in Harare, but this opportunity will prove otherwise. It will show that we have the talent.
Music Crossroads competition 2010 provincial winners Hungwe Stars frontman Trust Muchita also said: We have many exceptional artistes here but surprisingly very few have been given chances to perform at big national events. So the 21st Movement will be a stepping stone for talented upcoming artistes here.
Other musicians that added voices to the debate were Assegai Crew, 2 Keys, Band Aha, Orchestra-Kings Sounds, The Glory Ambassadors, Ntswai Ntswai, Ben Arinoti, DOSA and Real Spears.
Blessing Shumba, Juicer Mpostori, Ronika Masuka, Lady Monica, Project Fame and Young One are some of the notable artists in Mutare rallying behind the move.
Several artistes in Mutare are working on a compilation album titled Bob 88, which will be presented to President Mugabe on his birthday.
Meanwhile the province has witnessed the emergence of another promising gospel artiste in the form of Mex Muneta.
With a good debut album titled Worship in Jazz, Muneta might be signing his way into the local hall of fame.
The eight-track album is punctuated by neatly arranged instrumentation.
The religious musician said the idea of a gospel jazz album was meant to unite people through music.
My album seeks to unite the Christian community and jazz music lovers. Im trying to bring jazz and gospel people together. People should expect to be anointed with the word hidden in the instruments,said Muneta.
Muneta said the idea emanated from his deep-rooted religious and musicalbackground.
I come from a very religious family. I used to play in the Christian Life Centre Praise and Worship team. I have worked with Africa Univeristy Jazz Band for the past two years where I developed a strong passion for jazz music.
These two experiences have become a permanent part of my life.
Muneta has shared the stage with gospel heavyweights such as Diva Mafunga, Mahendere Brothers and Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave before mastering the art of mainstream music under the mentorship of Mutares gospel diva Murudzwa.
It was during his two-year stint with Africa University Jazz Band that he honed his skills as an exceptional jazz artist.