A Zimbabwe Heritage Trust (ZHT) and Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) workshop held at Zimbabwe College of Music on Tuesday to conscientise musicians on the role of music in nation-building was reduced into an orientation session on what the musicians should sing about.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education director, Augustine Tirivangana, warned musicians to be conscious of their music’s potential to destroy people.
“Music is a form of media, an instrument of socialisation or transmission of any set of values so it’s a mode through which people can be educated or destroyed depending on the message,” he said.
Tirivangana told musicians and other stakeholders who attended the workshop that “music needs to be properly guided” within a particular philosophical position.
Musicians, he said, had a responsibility to serve the people.
“A good musician must have correct philosophical grounding to understand that his or her purpose is to build society, so, in their music, should be able to construct messages that rally people together rather than dissipate them,” he said.
Tirivangana underscored the fact that musicians should package their messages in such a way that they would not be misinterpreted.
He said African artistes were duty-bound to be exemplary in their community.
Zimura executive director Polisile Ncube — who also attended the workshop — said her association appreciated that music was an intangible property that could be created as a legacy.
“Music fosters national, community and individual identity and Zimura protects all those. We, therefore, take it upon ourselves to educate our artistes in terms of their lyrics as music is a legacy,” she said.
Artistes who attended the workshop included Machanic Manyeruke, Tatenda Mahachi, Bob Nyabinde and Edith Weutonga.
Mahachi said although the workshop helped them to appreciate the role of artistes in preserving culture, the organisers should in future deal with issues affecting musicians.
Some of the artistes expressed mixed feelings over the push for them to toe a specific line, as it was tantamount to curtailing their creativity under the ruse of promoting culture.
The musicians said a country’s heritage was preserved through the arts and if the ZHT felt sponsorship for musicians had a hidden agenda, then ZHT was duty-bound to financially support the musicians.