The Sunday Mail
ONE hundred and twenty local artistes received food hampers from Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s Christ Embassy through its local branch on Friday.
The church partnered the Zimbabwe Arts Promoters Association, the Zimbabwe Union of Musicians (ZUM) and the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) for a more transparent and comprehensive process.
This comes as Government, through the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Recreation, recently put together a fund to help artistes who have been affected by the national lockdown. Artistes, who earn most of their money from live shows, have not been able to work in over eight weeks.
The handover of the food parcels took place at Christ Embassy Church in Belvedere, Harare. It was attended by NACZ deputy director Josia Kusena, Christ Embassy Zonal pastor, Dr Ruth Musarurwa and members of ZUM. Speaking to The Sunday Mail Society after the handover ceremony on Friday, Spencer Madziya, the interim treasurer of the promoters association, said without artistes, life would be meaningless.
“The world needs artistes — they provide the soundtrack to life,” said Madziya, who is also known as Boss Spencer in showbiz circles.
“Without artistes, there would be no promoters. We are not saying we have money, no! We are simply using the few resources and relations we have to ensure that these important stakeholders in the arts industry make it through this Covid-19 crisis,
which is threatening to bring the world to its knees.”
Although a number of band leaders attended the event, Madziya said the food parcels were meant for ordinary band members.
“The band leaders have friends in high places and most of them have projects that can sustain them in times like these. So our primary target is the band member, that is the guy who is vulnerable,” said Madziya.
Band members that were present included Utakataka Express frontman Peter Moyo, gospel star Mathias Mhere, veteran sungura artiste Somandla Ndebele and Afro-fusion songbird Diana Samkange.
Freddy Manjalima (aka Kapfupi), Ba Shupi, Daniel Gonyora and several DJs were also in attendance. The promoters and their partners are set to go on a road show starting this week in Bulawayo before moving to Mutare, among other cities and towns.
“We have representatives in all provinces, promoters that know which artistes are most in need. These are the structures we are going to make use of,” said interim promoters association chair Partson Chimbodza of Chipaz Promotions.
Chimbodza said their association is not dealing with musicians only.
“We received a distress call from actors and actresses, the guys from the small screen.
“We are giving them something next week (this week).”
Also present at the handover ceremony of the “gifts” were the promoters association vice chairperson Barbara Chikosi, aka Mai Red Rose; secretary Bernard Chambati and his assistant Simbarashe Malvern Chakare, aka Simba Bodyslam.
“Right now we are waiting for Government to clear our activities. This particular donation from Christ Embassy spent weeks at the border and we are pleading with the authorities to help us move these goods a lot faster so that they reach their intended beneficiaries on time,” adds Chimbodza.