MINISTER of Higher Education Professor Jonathan Moyo has taken a swipe at the stunted growth of the local music industry.
BY NIGEL PFUNDE
Moyo registered his sentiments on his official twitter account last week while responding to an uproar over the absence of the MTV Mama Awards winners list.
“There is need to first have a music industry in Zimbabwe which compares with what obtains in SA, Nigeria, Kenya and Angola,” the tweet read.
He however acknowledged that Zimbabwe was endowed with great musical talent, but lacked the proper structures to nurture it.
“The talent is there, but no industry. No proper studios, equipment songwriters, no producers, distributors etc.,” he said.
Moyo’s passion for local music is an open secret. He is credited for assembling one of the best music outfits in Zimbabwe, Pax Afro which was star-studded and featured the likes of Yulith Ndlovu, Isaac Chirwa, Tendai Manatsa as well as brothers Misheck and Michael Mahendere.
The group set a very high bar after producing a 26-track double CD titled Back2Black under Moyo’s tutelage before eventually disbanding.
Top music producer, Abra Simmz, famed for the hit Rise Up Zimbabwe said the local music industry needed to rope in the corporate world and turn commercial.
“There is nothing painful like fame without fortune, we need to entice the corporate world and make the industry a mega buck spinning industry,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Zim Dancehall industry has become a major employer with ghetto youths now bread winners and eking a living from it.
During Moyo’s first tenure at the information ministry between 2000 and 2005, he tried to grow the industry by introducing the 75% local content legislation.
The new drive spawned the birth of urban grooves music which gave rise to the likes of Roki and Maskiri.