SWAZILAND-BASED and Zimbabwe-born Larry Mhlanga of Larry Mhlanga Foundation says the sponsorship they pledged last year during the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAA) has been fulfilled.
The foundation sponsored the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAA) Newcomer winner (Andrea The Vocalist) to travel to Eswatini, record a song plus a music video and then collaborate with local artistes.
The project kicked off in April and on July 18 they released both audio and video of Andrea's Vocalist project.
Mhlanga confirmed the development to Standard Style on Thursday.
“Our sponsorship was based on the deliveries more than checking if the budget spent is within the sponsorship fee, but our main focus was giving out the best experience for the winner in Eswatini which we did and went extra mile,” he said.
“The award was sponsored by Larry Mhlanga Foundation, a family establishment meant to benefit artistes in different disciplines.
“The team felt the need to sponsor the award as Larry is Bulawayo-born creative having started his arts in Zimbabwe and then there were no awards, and seeing the talents now and the work done in Bulawayo we felt the need to contribute the little we can so we encourage and recognize the young artistes that we see.”
He said they were not a big organisation, but their hearts big. They had to get other companies and friends to work with in Eswatini to come on board and support RoilBAA.
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“We got director Kwenu of Motionskies, Hala Group Entertainment and King Kangaroo to work on the project as these are our sister companies based in Eswatini, that is how the project came about," Mhlanga said.
“The newcomer category was won by Andrea The Vocalist, it has been great working with him and his team at JBCross Entertainment.
“We have created a good relationship beyond just this project.
“We did not record and hand over the project but we did all the work and went the extra mile in support beyond.
“We collaborated with Sands, one of the Top Eswatini artistes and A2Z_Fusion a powerful duo who is amongst top rated acts in Eswatini.
“This is a real collaboration and one of the boys l engaged was Mncedisi known as MJ to write most of lyrics for the song Lizombona and the theme concept.
“He is one of the most talented artistes l follow in Zimbabwe and l have never met him but his work speaks volumes so these are the artistes we worked with on the project.”
Mhlanga said their aim was supporting a great initiative by RoilBAA and the inspiration came from seeing that as a newcomer getting resources to do proper song, music video and exposure is always a tough.
“This programme is to jump-start their careers as this exposure gives them nod to say they are in the right direction,” he said.
“We are looking forward to supporting RoilBAA again this year, but we are yet to evaluate with the RoilBAA team if they need the sponsorship channelled to the same category or a different activity of the awards.
“We are so excited about the opportunity to support the awards, it's not every day when one gets such an opportunity on behalf of Larry Mhlanga, Hala Group Entertainment, Motionskies TV we are humbled and looking forward to more opportunities of such kind as this is our space we work on.”