Upcoming artists cry foul
Midlands State University recruits musicians, novelists, poets and short story writers who are facing difficulties in excelling due to financial problems.
Alex Chiweshe, a Bachelor of Education Shona Student, is one of the musicians who are facing financial problems to come up with an album. His group is known as Renaissance Socio-gospel Music. Rumbidzaishe is the title of the album which has eight songs, which include Tendai Mwari wenyu, Nguva yakwana and rumbidza nezvose among others. In an interview, Chiweshe was quick to point out the financial constrain as one of the major setbacks. Alex Chiweshe had this to say, “I am a Sungura gospel musician, I have an album which I have worked on and it was ready for publication by2003. Mr.S.K Mtetwa, a brother in law helped me financially as far as he could. I have videos on two songs Nguva yakwana and Rumbidza nezvose, which we have not finished paying”. Chiweshe added that his project, which he recorded with Gospel train, is only on a CD since he has no money to produce it in large quantities. Given the fact that the BED undergraduates are only given half of their salary, he is not in a position to complete his project. Chiweshe has a strong belief that the corporate world should invest in such projects such that these talents are harnessed.
The setback is not only for musicians but it also extends to novelists, short story writers and the drama group among others. Abel Dzobo one of the students who are equipped with the art and skill of novel and short story writing commented that, “I strongly believe that the stalwarts on the publishing industry are supposed to help young writers to make it in life”. He went on to argue that unlike in music industry where the likes of Oliver Mutukudzi, Madzibaba (senior lecturer) have raised other groups, the voice of young poets and novelists have been effectively strangled. It is however the fact that the publishing houses prefer big names and will not give the novices a tumble. Dzobo added that, he has been writing since form one and could have his first novel, The second fiddle during his Advanced level. Abel Dzobo has written a short story in Trends and is currently working on his second novel Lady of the night with the hope to have a sponsor.
However SHAPE Zimbabwe is trying to create a good relationship with the corporate world in an attempt to market the various talents the students’ posses. In an interview with Corlen Masunda, an assistant programme manager for SHAPE Zimbabwe Trust elaborated the effort his programme is poring on these upcoming artists. He said, SHAPE’s position is to assist these youngsters to identify themselves in as far as talents are concerned. We do drama contests, Miss MSU, Miss BIG, Talk shows, these are mainly for the benefit of those talented”. SHAPE Zimbabwe has launched DJ shows for every semester with the intention to support upcoming Disk Jockeys.
The issue of sponsorship is vital in talent development. Since these youths are the future and the shoots from that coppice and when that strong gusty comes, the big tree is gone for good .Its every student’s wish that those talented students get sponsorship.