“You might say my music was not better than theirs and after travelling a lot in places like Sweden, England, Denmark and Canada, we had full houses and at home here it was on tribal lines.” Majaivana

Recently, one of the Rappers from the Matebeleleland Province, Bulawayo to be exact. Resonated a crucial issue that has to do with selection on how music has been distributed and promoted within the Zimbabwean Music Industry.

Cal Vin

Mgcini Calvin Nhliziyo aka Cal Vin, is not satisfied on
how his people are being treated. Cal Vin’s recent release of Maybe If I Was A, completely shares his sentiments towards tribalism.

In a conversation, he made it clear that, he was not on playing the tribalism card, but he was just rephrasing Majaivana’s feelings towards this treatment.

‘l am not saying anything tribe is better or less than the other, it is a Majaivana’s Story with my twist to it. Sober up and press play. Just read some of your comments and they are greatly appreciated. This has exposed how we all view this issue keep talking…’ Cal Vin

Other parties involved in this conversation has described Cal Vin as a cry baby. There have been a couple times where Cal Vin has played the tribal card, but he made a stop to it just after he released an indirect freestyle diss track called, I’m So Bulawayo,

where he exhorted Asaph to keep away from playing that card for it does not matter anymore. It has always been there, whether we rally or not.

Lovemore Majajvhana

Speaking of Lovemore ‘Majaivana’ Tshuma, he is one of the greatest Legends Bulawayo have. Who has moved to the United States of America after he came to a decision that, there is no way people are going to appreciate his music. In ani nterview with Zazise WorldWide, he did express his opinion towards how the tribal card play in the Music Industry.

“My life has been a sad one, have been dealt blows below the belt. First of all it was the language that I sang in, it didn’t really bring me the fortune that one expects like when you look at these other people that sing in the widely known languages..

They get a better share of the profits. It’s partly why I left music because whenever I went to collect my cheque, I saw the other cheques of people that sang in different languages, they had better cheques than mine,” Majaivana said.

The legend felt sabotaged enough even when it came to payment. The money earned was not enough as compared to those who sang in Shona. The reason why he was concerned about the money, is because, as compared to the shows he performed at with the ones the Shona performed in other
countries, the fill up was very different.

“You might say my music was not better than theirs
and after travelling a lot in places like Sweden, England,
Denmark and Canada, we had full houses and at home here it was on tribal lines.” Majaivana added.

Speaking of international tours, he could be right if we are to compare with the ones the Shona had. In the past years we have seen a number of Zimdancehall artists touring to UK, Malaysia, Dubai, Australia, China and to mention a few. The crowd was not big enough and it had Zimbabweans only.

Apart from Thomas Mapfumo, Chioneso Maraire, the Shona have failed to fill up a venue with different races. For instance, in UK, most of the shows were hosted in a tennis court which could not overflow. Whereas artist like Awa Khiwe, a Bulawayo femcee, her shows in Europe do have a great fill up of people from different races, not Zimbabweans only. Which is a great thing for the music industry.

Awa Khiwe

This comes to the virtual concerts that are been hosted weekly. A few of them do have artists from Bulawayo. They have sorted to start doing their own which is very limited. If only they could be part of these shows, it would help them increase their reach and of course generate a revenue.

This does go down to why we have failed to come to a moment of forgiveness about the Gukurahundi incident. However, we will not tap into it, but keep it musical.

Majaivana went on to state that, we as Zimbabweans we tend to not have full support for our own artists. Which makes it tough for them to yield greater results.

“For musicians, no I don’t see any hope in my country. It’s because we don’t have a strong union. Whenever we try to build something, there is always something that comes up and destroys the good things, it’s either people hate the person who
is leading the union or they really don’t have somebody they would want to have in there, so I don’t see any of us making any successful union. So the plight of the musicians will always be the same.” Majivana

On that note, I took the liberty to share the story on my timeline on Facebook. A couple of mixed feeling comments came through, but there was this one guy called, Nyasha Cable Ruwoko. He shared a lot that l did not have an idea of after l mentioned Sandra Ndebele as one of the artist to ever make it from Bulawayo. Check the opinions below
that he shared,

Sandra Ndebele

‘I don’t dispute that she became an icon (Sandra
Ndebele) but I can tell you that she only did 2 years with Iyasa and she had to leave the producer who discovered her (Joe Maseko – House of Rising Sound) who was from Luveve Gwabalanda.

Joe later migrated to Botswana and worked with a group which later scooped national awards ikoko. Joe is Late now, but at that time the hunger for music made us all meet up in Luveve
because he was a very talented producer. And just for the record, the kind of people that monopolized the game at that time are people who then created Galaxy Records with Delani ‘Stepaside’ Makalima as producer and Innocent Tshuma as DJ at Power FM Radio. Openly auditioning artists live on radio and handing them over to Stepaside.

A Group from Bulawayo called Skull Crackers got a contract under Galaxy but the terms where that they had to travel to Harare to record and they had to change their group name. A
year later the first compilation cassette of Urban Grooves called the Future, it was a game changer and Skies was now in the shadows. I could go on, but Yard you know the rest of the story…’ Nyasha Cable Ruwoko

This leave us with an opinion that Harare did monopolize the whole industry. The fact that the Skull Crackers had to change their name so as to fit with the record label, raises a lot of red flags. The same with them recording in Harare only, not in Bulawayo.

The next one did highlight the decline of Music Industry in Bulawayo. The shutdown of Montrose Studios did kill Teen Scene and Amakhosi. They now no longer had a safe space where they could reach the whole nation. Their reach was now limited to Bulawayo only.

“Galaxy Records yakarira zvekuti everyone in the country who did urban music really did wish they had a deal with them. You would hear Plaxedes, Roy and Royce, Sniper and to mention a few, each more than 16 to 18 times a day.

We in Bulawayo at that time only had one Youth Magazine program on TV yainzi Teen Scene and Friday Live at Amakhosi would beam live on TV.

One day Montrose had to close and we lost all programs and now the game was now entrenched in the Capital.

It’s only now recently that Montrose reopened to live TV Broadcasts under New Dispensation. that is why talent from the south of Zimbabwe ends up found in South Africa and Botswana cause ibhora resimbi (Laughs)” Nyasha Cable Ruwoko

Since this matter is very sensitive, we have accepted to work with him on a more comprehensive approach so that we get to talk more about the challenges that were faced in the industry. This would give an opportunity for the new kids to understand how it all started.

“I would be more than thrilled to help. As long it exposes the struggle that our local music had to endure to gain tolerance, airplay, events and cooperate support. Having to battle against foreign genres emadhara edu ana Rumba, Pop Music, Reggae and Western RnB and Hip Hop. Most people don’t know even Tuku started kurira zvekuita decent money and major popularity on his 37 or so album Dande (Dzoka uyamwe)…” Nyasha Cable Ruwoko

The part where he mentioned the breakthrough of Oliver Mtukudzi got our eye. Nowadays people having a
breakthrough song is easy like 1234. Even though we have internet to back us up, it is still a long journey and it takes a lot of time.

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