The Sunday Mail
SHOWBIZ is a dog-eat-dog industry, opportunities are never handed on a silver platter, and one has to prove their worth time and again.
Musicians know this, but they still push their luck. Right now, there are all sorts of noises being made with regards to the Koffi Olomide show to be held on August 3 – rhumba artistes feel left out. Maybe they were inspired by Diana “Mangwenya” Samkange, who made the right noises successfully days before the historic Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo gig held at the Glamis Arena. She complained that female artistes had been sidelined at the gig and the organisers roped her in.
The latest clash is between rhumba acts and promoters ahead of the much anticipated Koffi Olomide gig set for the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC). Rhumba acts say they ought to have been included on the line-up but word has it that the promoter, Sound Blaze, saw no commercial value in that especially after the Fally Ipupa show, which saw the promoter taking a serious financial knock.
Luckily the promoter was the deep-pocketed Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure, who took it on the chin, paid all the bills and moved on, vowing never to take any such gambles again.
Juntal, who ironically was part of the acts at the gig, is moaning the loudest. He feels that he deserved to be on the August 3 line-up, which features a resurgent Alick Macheso and the evergreen Winky D.
“I do not have a problem with how these guys planned their show because they want to make a profit out of it, this is why you find all types of genres on the selection. However, I believe if they really wanted to promote rhumba and not think much about profit – they would do the right thing and rope us in,” said Juntal.
“They don’t believe in local rhumba, but that will not make a man like me lose hope in it. I’m good at what I do and will not stop until the genre gains its respect,” he declared.
The “Mutupo” singer revealed that he is shocked that he was excluded from the show after staging a “fiery act” at Fally Ipupa’s show.
“These guys (promoters) approached me and said they would get back to me. I don’t know why they never came back. After Fally’s show a lot of fans and even some sections of the media said that I performed better than Fally.”
He, however, rubbished rumours that his exclusion and that of his fellow rhumba acts were linked to the Fally flop.
“Fally is not popular in Zimbabwe that’s why the HICC was not full. If it was a popular act like Koffi alongside us, local rhumba musicians, trust me it was going to be full.”
The Sunday Mail Society got in touch with operations manager for Sound Blaze, Calisto Murawo.
“This was never a rhumba show,” said Murawo, adding, “Artistes must understand that. Our selection was based on the kind of concert that we want – a concert that caters for all fans across music genres.”
Murawo also gave an official position with regards to rumours circulating that a number of rhumba acts were initially drafted for the show but were dropped last minute.
“There was no one who was left on the first draft that’s a lie. I am sorry to those who feel left out but they should also understand that there is no concert of such magnitude that can accommodate all artistes in Zimbabwe. We win some and we lose some,” he remarked.