BY SHARON SIBINDI
THE lead trainer at Media and Arts Zimbabwe (MAZ) in Bulawayo, Christensen Mapuranga, has challenged females in showbiz to strive to be on the technical side of the business.
Mapuranga made the remarks after 10 local female artistes recently completed a sound and engineering training programme.
Some of the graduates, who were under the tutelage of award-winning music producer Godwin “Smallz” Ndlovu, are Thandi Bhala, Mimie Tarukwana, Qeqeshiwe Mntambo and Novuyo Seagirl Dube.
Mapuranga said training of women in sound engineering was a stepping stone towards balancing the scales in the creative industry.
“We have not seen any females working on the technology side of the business nor have we seen the ladies on drums, guitars and keys, and we want to work on breaking those barriers that are hindering the participation of women in those areas of the industry,” he said.
“It is not enough to see women as lead singers or backing vocalists because there is more to the music industry than just singing.”
Mapuranga said they would soon begin classes for female producers in partnership with Sadee Lenswork.
“We have acquired some photographic equipment which we are expecting in the country soon, following which the first batch of 10 young women will begin their training. Those who had applied will be contacted by the end of the week,” he said.
Ndlovu said it was important for musicians who were part of the training to be able to own their sound.
“With the training they received, we expect them to be able to control how their sound eventually comes out both in the studio and on stage. We expect this knowledge to translate to how they set up their performances, read and write a technical rider,” he said.
“We have seen how many of our musicians are only concerned about their vocals on stage, neglecting to take charge of the band.”
Award-winning songstress, Mntambo said opportunities for skills development were too few for creatives in Bulawayo.
“When there are targets to uplift women and girls, I appreciate the skills I now have and this will obviously translate to improved quality of music,” she said.
“In an era where live performances are also still banned, I am confident that I can now set up a live performance with exceptional sound quality without the hustle of finding a sound engineer to set me up”.
MAZ started to empower females in showbiz in September 2020 and the project has seen a seismic shift in the balance of participation in the music industry.
The recent graduates are a third batch of trainees to have undergone vocational training that included studio sound and stage sound meant to equip them with the necessary skills to be able to start their own sound companies or studios.
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