By Fungai Jachi
The welfare of musicians came under the spotlight during an interface between the artists and the Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Honourable Tino Machakaire in Mutare this Monday.
Musicians who spoke to ZBC News appreciated the steps being taken by government to ease their situation and challenged fellow artists to have alternative sources of income.
“This engagement was critical and my take away was that I should be able to have other means of earning a living not just wait for music,” said an artist based in Mutare.
Another said, “As artists we should be able to stand on our own. We are glad that government is trying to help us during this time we are in.”
Deputy Minister Machakaire called for the promotion of local content while also challenging artists to promote Zimbabwean values through music.
“We find that our local stations are not promoting local artists as their music is not being played locally. We need to see a change of attitudes towards our own artists. The artists should be good ambassadors of the country through music. They should be able to build the nation through their music and not abuse their talents.
“There is also need to ensure that they also have alternative means of survival as this crisis we are in taught all of us new lessons,” he said.
Government has set up a ZWL$20 million relief fund to assist artists and athletes whose activities and sources of income have been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.