The debate about how local artists should be treated when they perform with their international counterparts on local stages has been one of the central talking points of the local music scene.
REPORT BY GODWIN MUZARI
A number of artists have complained that local music promoters give international artists preferential treatment when some of these visitors perform dismally.
While Zimbabweans are known for their hospitality in various sectors internationally, the treatment local artists sometimes get when they are enlisted as supporting acts for foreign artists should be condemned.
It is not justifiable to pay an international artist more than US$200 000 to perform for two hours with a band of less than five people when a local supporting act gets US$500 to perform with a band of eight people for three hours.
It is disheartening when local performers come to the rescue of the so-called international stars that would have performed disappointingly.
Some years ago, Alick Macheso outclassed General Defao when attention was supposed to be on the Congolese during his tour of the country.
Winky D last year compensated fans with a good show when Sean Kingston had an appalling act.
While it is a fact that international acts demand huge amounts of money for different reasons, promoters should also be in a position to celebrate local talent and promote their own.
It is pathetic when local artists are made to feel that it is a favour to be called to share the stage with renowned international musicians.
One artist phoned me ahead of the P Square show asking if I could facilitate his inclusion on the programme.
He wanted to perform for free because of a culture that has been nurtured among our artists, to feel very inferior when international musicians tour the country. I felt sorry for him. The same promoters will turn to the same local artists for shows around the country when they are not hosting international acts.
In fact, promoters work more with local than foreign artists, but treat the former with disdain when they host the latter.
So, when the P Square duo announced on stage during their show in Harare that it is important for people to support local artists, it was valuable advice which everyone should take seriously.
Although P Square were performing in a foreign land, they did not underestimate the importance of their fellow artists in this particular country.