Direct marketing pays off for Mbende musician


playing his own DVDs in a marketing strategy to drive sales has borne fruits for Mbende music superstar Rishon Murandu.


Murandu (28), like any other musician, took advantage of the vending rife in Harare to play and screen his DVDs.

Rishon Murandu as he appears in one of his musical videos

Mbende music is proving popular and unique given hordes of people who gather to watch Murandu’s DVDs along Speke Avenue in Harare.

Passers-by inevitably get attracted to the visual sound at the arena and end up forking out their hard-earned cash to purchase the DVDs.

“People come here to watch as I use the projector screen to play my videos. I am in the street like any other vendor selling my music and since I started this, my sales have increased,” said the Mbende music star.

Mbende or Dembe music is a traditional type of music which originated from Murehwa and this is where Rishon comes from.

Murandu, who fronts the group called Arts Laboratory Band which comprises of 13 members, said his first 2012 album titled Mbende Jerusarema was well received by people of all ages due to its uniqueness of the traditional feel.

Rishon Murandu direct marketing his music in the streets

“Most people associate my music with their tradition and culture. I use drums/ngoma, wood clappers/hosho, hands/manja and my dance moves are traditional” boasted Rishon.

Though his music is sometimes played on radio Rishon said it wasn’t paying him much.

“I am a musician, but to be honest my music had not paid me much till I started marketing it myself. I come here on the street from 6pm to 8pm and I am selling over 100 CDs and DVDs to people passing by and I charge only one dollar per DVD. I am receiving great support from people.”

The video which is proving popular came from the song Shanda from his previous 2012 album which carries other songs like Mbende Jerusarema, Dende, Shanda, Dzungaira and Jesu Huyai.

Thomas Tetemela who bought more than two DVDs said: “Murandu’s music defines my culture, I love the way he fuses modern guitars and traditional instruments.”

His latest album carries songs like Yarira Ngoma, Muroora, Ndiperekedze, Gomba, Pasara Vende, Gen’a Revakuwasha and Mambara Ndiwe.

Murandu, who prides himself as a pure Zezuru, said most Zimbabwean artistes love to imitate other foreign cultures in playing their music which is wrong.

“Zimbabwean culture and traditions are unique and foreigners should copy us, not us copying them. I get my inspiration from Zimbabwe’s rich culture and traditions and I will never fuse any foreign culture with my beat,” said Murandu.

He promised to hold shows soon in a bid to reach many through his music.