AS Zimbabwe yesterday joined the world in commemorating International Women’s Day — which is celebrated on March 8 every year — several women in the local arts and culture industry said there was need for greater women’s participation in the sector.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Songbird, Selmor Mtukudzi said female exclusion in the industry was rife and has seen women missing out on important gigs.
“There are so many talented women in the country, but we seldom see them performing on big platforms, that needs to change. The legend, Thomas Mapfumo is coming home soon, but there is no representation of female artistes on the lineup,” she said.
“So on Women’s Day, I am celebrating those women, who have continued to work hard even though they are ignored or pushed to the side. I celebrate them because they are the strong women we need in our society to create a better country for our children.”
Radio personality and hip-hop sensation, Black Bird, said it was disheartening that the media and music industry remained male-dominated.
“Working as both a journalist and a musician, I still find men hold the majority of management and decision-making positions. The few women, who are given key positions, are often so eager to keep their jobs, so they please their male bosses often at the expense of other sisters,” she said.
Black Bird said there was need for women to unite and work together for their upliftment rather than to pull each other down.
Supermodel, Lisa Morgan said it was critical for women in showbiz to value themselves rather than allow outsiders — like modelling agencies — “to make money off us. It is time women stand for the value they know they are worth and not to settle for less”.
Musician, Diana Samkange challenged promoters and the corporate world, to engage female musicians in their brand ambassadorial roles.
“We are lacking recognition as female musicians as advertising seems to be going our male counterparts all the time. First preference is given to male musicians whether it is platforms on bigger stages or any other opportunities and it’s not helping us in anyway when it comes to maintaining our positions as female artistes in the industry.”
Comedian, Gonyeti called for more space for women, so that they can access opportunities like their male companions, while musician, Edith WeUtonga concurred.
“It is time that our business sector pays attention to the plight of women in the arts and supports their initiatives,” WeUtonga said.
Children’s Performing Arts Workshop (Chipawo) manager, Chipo Basopo challenged female artistes to utilise the platforms, skills and talents at their disposal.