Then, Sulumani did not have much experience in the industry and he was caught in the middle of a storm as many people sought publicity through him. However, with his down-to-earth character, Sulumani managed to deal with the pressure and became his own man. He is now comfortably steering Orchestra Dendera Kings.
But the musician would confess that among people that jostled to have a hand in his rise, not all were being driven by sympathy or good intensions. There are some that sought instant personal gains while others apparently saw a lucrative investment in Sulumani. The trick was to create a strong bond with the youngster at an early stage in order to reap from his success later. They are others that literally sought to control the band.
However, Sulumani had by his side genuine promoters that guided and advised him until he grew into a mature musician.
The same scenario cropped up when the late Leonard Dembo’s sons, Morgan and Tendai, announced that they wanted to carry on with their father’s music.
As soon as they started staging shows, promoters went after them and they almost split after getting wrong advice. They admitted that there were some promoters that wanted to exploit them and sought to separate them.
These are just examples of how some elements of our music industry behave like vultures. They are waiting to pounce on late musicians’ bands for personal fulfillment.
There are various other cases involving clashes over musicians’ estates besides bands but those have mainly been fights between family members.
When it comes to bands that work for and with the public, outsiders have access and those bad elements seek to enrich themselves by trying to influence decisions, especially when the heir is young.
Just last week, there was talk of a whirlwind blowing through the late Tongai Moyo’s band, Utakataka Express.
A number of names were fingered as seeking to interfere with the affairs of the band. Some people that were not known anywhere near Utakataka Express when Moyo was alive began claiming that they would give direction to young Peter Moyo, son to the late musician, who now leads the group.
It is best for promoters and well-wishers to do everything they can to support Peter and ensure that he makes it in the industry. It is good for the late musician’s family to continue reaping from the band and also for the band members to keep their livelihoods hinged on Utakataka Express.
But all this can be achieved only if we have genuine promoters and supporters for Peter. It was a shame to have power struggles among non-band members. After all, it was only two weeks after Moyo’s death.
Such behaviour shows that those involved are not bothered about proper planning that would shape the young musician and keep the band intact. They are only worried about controlling the band and it makes us suspicious of their motives.
They should just stop confusing band members by fighting for control. Those that want to see Peter succeeding must also have been involved in his father’s success. Genuine promoters are concerned about the welfare of every musician and support the artists for a good cause. We do not want good Samaritans that do not even know Samaria.