AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

Davido catapults Takura to global scene

Life & Style
Takura’s endorsement by Davido who is a well-known successful musician might be understated by some, but it shows the Afro-pop singer, who made his breakthrough locally with a hip-hop sound, is making his presence felt in the music industry across borders.

THE recent endorsement of local Afro-pop singer Takura Shonhai by Nigerian Afro-beats superstar Davido has divided opinion on different social media platforms.

“Every record fire!!! new fan,” Davido posted on Takura’s Instagram.

Takura released King Of Hearts his latest album, which appears to have charmed Davido. The endorsement came at a time when many local artistes were struggling to make an impact on the international market.

 Afro-pop singer Takura Shonhai

Some followers of showbiz matters said Davido’s endorsement was a positive step in Takura’s music journey, igniting debate on the need for local artistes to strive to reach the international audience.

Others are of the view that  mere endorsement by Davido is not enough to catapult local talent to international levels.

Juxtaposing Zimbabwean and Nigerian music, the latter has been lately making huge strides on the international level, whereas the former is finding it hard to produce artistes with an appeal to the international audience.

It seems like a great season for the Afro-beats nation, as three of its artistes performed at some of the biggest world events. Rema performed at the recently-held Ballon D’or ceremony, Davido shined at the World Cup held last year while Burna Boy was an act at the Uefa Champions League final.

Takura’s endorsement by Davido who is a well-known successful musician might be understated by some, but it shows the Afro-pop singer, who made his breakthrough locally with a hip-hop sound, is making his presence felt in the music industry across borders.

Below are some of the mixed reactions by social media users to Davido’s endorsement:

Siyabonga Mtetwa said: “It is of no use to be known by a big artiste, ask Jah Prayzah. The important thing is to be known and have a good relationship with your local fans first.”

“Zimboz would rather endorse Ngwere and the Van Chogas and ignore pure and meaningful art,” ProsperMsyiwa noted.

Mc Neil said “If you sing for the wrong audience, you will think that you are not talented.”

Tafadzwa Murape said Takura was a big musician who, if he was from that other part of the world, would be topping charts right now.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, one of the local hip-hop heads, Beefy Harrison said he believed Takura had a loyal fan base both locally and internationally.

Harrison also pointed out the need for local artistes to create a strong local fan base before going international.

“A lot can be said about what an artiste should or can do to penetrate the international market, but I believe in being on top in your own country before looking internationally. Build your brand first which will eventually make it viable for export,” he said.

“Takura is a rare talent and has put in the work over the years. It is only inevitable that his art is making headway internationally. He has a strong fan base not only in Zimbabwe.”

Musical composer and multi-instrumentalist Clive Mono Mukundu said artistes needed to first embrace their original sound before aiming to conquer the international stage.

“The first important principle when it comes to penetrating the international market is to have an original sound. This is where most of the local artistes will not escape,” he noted.

Mukundu said Nigerians were popular worldwide because they use their Nigerian sound while South Africa is making waves with amapiano because it is its sound.

“As a local Zimbabwean artiste, it is impossible to compete with the Nigerians, South Africans and Jamaicans in their own sound and this will hinder your chances of going international. The late Stella Chiweshe, Oliver Mtukudzi and Chiwoniso Maraire managed to penetrate the international market because their sound was original and local,” he said.

Mukundu pointed out the need to have structures in the local music industry to set the base for international market penetration.

He also said the local population was small and this stifled growth of artistes.

“We should have structures. For example, in Nigeria and the United States, they have plenty of record labels, whereas in Zimbabwe we don’t have a record label. Our population issmall. I know people like to talk about Jamaica when we point out the population. The American market is directly linked to Jamaica or vice-versa,” he said.

“So it is easy for Jamaican music to penetrate the American market, which has a wider audience. We cannot compare ourselves to Jamaica.”

Mukundu said it was imperative for the government to sponsor the local music industry for it to be successful.

“Some governments also sponsor their artistes to perform at festivals so that they get noticed by other audiences. Tours are also important. I was fortunate to work with the likes of Maraire and Mtukudzi. I saw how tours could help artistes to grow their fan base,” he noted.

“There is need for the government to help our local artistes with the tours. A fund for artistes is necessary as some governments are doing it.”

Related Topics