The Sunday Mail
Club Joy Centre proprietor, David Mudzudzu, is hosting his annual birthday celebrations this afternoon.
In true Mudzudzu style, the day is not about him but uplifting talent. He believes his calling is to promote local arts while providing a source of livelihood for many.
His venue has over the years become a celebrated arts brand and a launchpad for many local artistes. Even some musicians with waning fortunes have found solace at this home of open air entertainment. The Sunday Mail Society caught up with the birthday boy, who said the Club Joy Centre concept is not just a business initiative for him but a lifestyle and community development investment.
“We started operations over two decades ago. At the height of our operations we had Club Joy Centres in Mbare, Glen Norah, Makoni as well as Club Joy Centre Fiyo, better known as the home of open air entertainment. We are all about arts promotion, entertainment and, of course, supporting livelihoods for ordinary Zimbabweans,” Mudzudzu said.
He said it was important that Zimbabweans look beyond the self in their business ventures.
“As a people in general and Zimbabweans in particular, we should continue to respect the values of Ubuntu in our ventures. Yes, it’s good to make money but equally important is to spare a thought for others especially those who are still to find their footing as well as those that have fallen on difficult times.
“That model has worked well for us and we are happy with the many lives that we have touched through our venture. From the staff, the upcoming and established musicians we contract as well as the various vendors that sell their wares at our premises during our gigs, it has become quite an economic chain promoting survival,” said Mudzudzu.
True to the arts promoter’s assertion, various artistes like Paradzai Messi, Hosiah Chipanga, Josphat Somanje and the Tembo brothers to name a few — artistes that could have been easily forgotten — continue to get a platform at Club Joy Centre.
“We strongly feel that everyone deserves a chance and because of the ready crowd that frequents our place, we have been able to contract various artistes that for some reason or another are being shunned in the industry. They have found a ready and warm home at our joint while eking a living,” he said.
Mudzudzu also revealed that the centre has honed some now respected names in local arts like Progress Chipfumo, Peter Moyo, Tryson and Douglas Chimbetu, Kapfupi, Baba Harare and Mark Ngwazi to name a few.
“We are home to many upcoming and established artistes. Our open air model means no artiste flops because we don’t charge patrons. It’s a free for all fiesta and we only make our money from food and beverage sales then share the proceeds with the contracted artiste. That is working well for us.”
Today’s show is a must attend gig featuring some of the big names in local music. Various artistes billed to perform at the celebrations promised the very best.
“Mudzudzu is a father figure to many of us in the industry. We have a good working relationship with him. As he celebrates his birthday we promise to give fans the best of dendera music. Fans must come in their numbers and celebrate this man of the people,” said Tryson Chimbetu.
Progress Chipfumo, a regular at Club Joy Centre, thanked Mudzudzu for the support in his musical journey and promised fans a memorable time.
“Beyond the gigs, Mudzudzu has supported me in many ways including my album launches and we are going to celebrate him in a big way today,” said Chipfumo.