Tap into new technologies, musicians urged

Henry Makombe

THE Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) has urged local artistes to realise the importance and potency of new media in making connections for their art.

The association’s deputy director Henry Makombe made these remarks during an engagement meeting of Zimura and artistes in and around Victoria Falls last Wednesday.

Zimura is on a tour of the country where they are meeting artistes and arts stakeholders.

“Musicians should invest more in quality music and they should be in a position to market their music,” Makombe said.

“Most of these guys are not taking advantage of new technology tools and some don't even have business cards.

“They don't go and network with fellow artistes and others to enhance their career in the arts sector.”

Makombe said new technologies were building a new playground for arts, with its virtual worlds and new ways of trading.

He said apart from royalties, Zimura had other benefits meant for artistes, hence the need for artistes to register with the association.

“If musicians say that they are not seeing the value that Zimura is giving to their members, they are wrong,” he said.

“They are misplaced because we've got quite a number of benefits that we give to our members.

He said Zimura pays for both local and international royalties, including royalties that come from the digital exploitation of works.

“If their music is played on YouTube Tik-Tok and Spotify, among others, we pay them through the arrangement that we have with Capasso from South Africa and it comes in foreign currency,” Makombe said.

“So if your music is not being played on those digital platforms, don’t blame Zimura, blame yourself.

“See that you connect and take advantage of these platforms. When you become a Zimura member, notify us of your works.”

He said apart from royalties, Zimura has a funeral policy to cover artistes and it's free for registered members.

Zimura also has incapacitation allowance in the event that their member is involved in an accident or is no longer able to perform like what they used to do.

Veteran musician Robert Manthenga said besides being a member of Zimura for many years, he was yet to taste the fruits of his membership.

“I know most of the things they were talking about, but the only thing that I have learnt is from the Breeze FM talking about what is needed, the tag and EPKs, among others,” he said.

“For Zimura, I have so many questions because l last heard that there was a distribution of my funds before the Covid-19 outbreak that was in 2019.

“So, I don’t even know if I have a cent.

“The meeting was okay for other people not for me because I have been around for a long time, more than most of these musicians.”

Praise poet Obert Dube said most artistes missed the engagement, which should have empowered them.

“I am a member of the Victoria Falls Artistes Assembly which has more than 40 groups that could have attended this meeting,” Dube said.

“With proper coordination, these people could have come and tapped into this knowledge.”

Dube said Matabeleland North province lags behind other provinces in terms of development.

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