HARARE’S nightlife has been dampening slowly over the years.
Exacerbated by the tough economic situation, this has given birth to the hardcore adult entertainment that is fast-becoming normal in Harare’s largely reserved communities.
Celebrities, businesspeople or in short A-listers have been left with little or no option in the central business district and have had to resort to patronising clubs in the leafy suburbs of Harare like Borrowdale.
But Sphinx housed in Cresta Oasis Hotel appears to be offering a modest environment in terms of content and class in terms of association option as they host the who is who of local entertainment. Below is a question-and-answer interview done by Silence Charumbira (SC) with Sphinx proprietor Spencer Madziya (SM).
SC: Is Sphinx being the place for Harare’s A-listers? Is it the idea you had when you ventured into business and do we even have A-listers in Zimbabwe?
SM: Yes, it is the idea we had and we have maintained that status. You only do see A-listers gracing the place
SC: Who is your competition? The CBD is running short of exclusive night spots.
SM: Indeed there is no competition in the CBD and being nestled in a hotel environment gives some exclusivity
SC: Have you hosted foreign celebrities before and how much have you garnered from your association with local musicians?
SM: Yes indeed we have hosted the Kalado welcome show. As a fan of local music and a promoter as well as manager of some local artistes they have stood to actually benefit in terms of them having a place where they can hold their album launches, video launches as well as interactions, planning and helping each other.
SC: The situation in the country is that people are broke and music performances are not paying so much that the bulk of them have become hangers-on. Are you making any money out of the venture or they are simply milking you?
SM: One thing I know is that music is a business, a big industry in itself. Indeed shows might have dwindled and money really not trickling in like the rest of the industries, but the innovative artistes have branched into other businesses that support them. For example, Cindy Munyavi is into clothing retail, Nox into marketing and branding, so to say they are milking me is a gross misrepresentation, but we are helping each other for the good of the industry. And those who need help, yes I do chip in for them to achieve their goal.
SC: Several entertainment joints have gone under due to the complex environment in which you operate, is your business profitable?
SM: True, some business have gone under like any other business. To say profitable would be a lie, but breaking even yes; we are able to keep our doors open.
SC: You have been the trendsetter in the last quarter of 2014 with some of the popular statements doing rounds in the social realm like Tsvagai mabasa having come from your circles; who is Spencer Madziya?
SM: A local music fanatic with a passion to see the entertainment sector continue to grow, a young business entrepreneur with interests in the construction and mining sectors, married with two kids
SC: Your club is everywhere online, how much do you think Zimbabwean artistes have embraced social media?
SM: Actually they have. If you look at most of these artistes, their social media following is huge. Also the only easy way artistes now interact with fans in terms of new music videos and shows is now mainly being done on these platforms. Indeed they have embraced the technological bandwagon. Nox has 1 5000 plus followers on Facebook and Twitter.