Zimura to honour music composers at 3-day jamboree

Albert Nyathi

A THREE-DAY jamboree of live performances awaits merrymakers when Music Rights Association (Zimura) hosts a music festival as part of celebrating 40 years of its existence.

Established in 1982, Zimura is an association for music composers, authors and publishers founded to protect the rights granted to musicians by the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act of Zimbabwe, Chapter 26:05.

Zimura also represents music creators all over the world through reciprocal agreements signed between music rights associations and societies commonly known as Collective Management Organisations and by virtue of Zimbabwe being a signatory to the Berne Convention, which provides for equal treatment of music rights holders throughout the world.

It is also affiliated to the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies, the World Intellectual Property Organisation, African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation and the Companies and Intellectual Property Office of Zimbabwe under the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs ministry, among other organisations that uphold intellectual property rights.

Seasoned musician and poet Albert Nyathi, who is also Zimura’s board chairperson, last week told the media that the festival that would have two editions for the northern (Harare) and southern (Bulawayo) regions has been scheduled for September and October, respectively.

“To make this celebration special, the event (festival) will culminate in three days of live performances whereby numerous artistes from various genres shall perform. The two editions of the festival will witness live performances by popular artistes chosen from the two regions,” Nyathi noted.

For the success of the festival, Zimura has engaged event management consultants to manage the two events.

“Adverts were flighted by Zimura on its websites and social media platforms and interviews were conducted by our events committee which resulted in the selection of Mike Billion Events to manage the Harare Edition and Simon Phiri (Mbazo) to manage the Bulawayo edition,” he said.

Nyathi added that the Zimura at 40 celebrations would also feature a book launch which documents the organisation’s journey since inception.

“The success, challenges, legal battles as well as the first members to join the organisation, just to mention a few, are some of the insights that shall be documented in the book,” he said.

“In addition to the aforementioned, the book will clarify the various misconceptions by the public on the mandates of Zimura as enshrined in its founding documents. Oftentimes the organisation has been criticised for not performing some duties that should be performed by music unions as they are not the organisation’s primary mandate and line of work.”

As part of the celebrations, Zimura intends to introduce music awards for artistes who enjoy airplay on radio, television and online platforms.

In Bulawayo, Zimura is in the process of constructing a multi-purpose Music and Cultural Centre that will house different arts disciplines.

According to Zimura, the centre that will host concerts, workshops and festivals, will be built on a 5 000-square metre piece of land in Emhlangeni suburb of Bulawayo.

The architectural plan for the culture centre was approved in September 2022 by the Bulawayo City Council.

“The Music and Cultural Centre will be equipped with various training rooms to cover guitar, piano, dance, drums, acting, film and other related artistic activities particularly aimed for use by the youth,” said Zimura board spokesperson Alexio Gwenzi.

“From 2025 until 2028, the rest of the building which comprises a multipurpose sound-proofed auditorium, a recording and filming studio, training and rehearsal rooms, music arts library, museum, cafeteria, coffee bar, a garden with Wi-Fi facilities and a boarding facility will be constructed.

“So far, a temporary structure was put in place to handle day-to-day activities. Drilling of a borehole was done in October 2022 and construction of the security wall is still underway. The centre will also be a place where creatives meet, cross-pollinate ideas and share artistic and business experiences.”

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