It is widely believed to be true that from time to time those in foreign lands tend to miss certain things about their nation or area of origin and these range from traditional practices, down to the food and dressing among many other things.
BY KENNEDY NYAVAYA
Zimbabweans dotted around all parts of the world are no exception as evidenced by their wide social media activity in which they have found solace for faster engagement with things happening back at home.
While the generality of “diasporans” miss different things relating to local values, music has emerged as one of the most-sought-after commodities and the internet has partially served the purpose of satisfying that need.
Some local music, however, fails to get to the ears of this “starved” audience because of the failure to update by some sites, as complicated uploading processes for upcoming artistes among many problems.
Destiny Mhishi, a computer science and mathematics student at Lipscomb University in the US has created an application called ZimboPlay that will compile locally made music into one platform to make access easier for music lovers and for musicians to gain online mileage that has been lacking.
Mhishi said his love for local music prompted him to craft the application after realising how arduous a task it was to get certain local music on cyber space.
“I love the local music, initially the idea was to have a site to show Zimbabweans’ latest and top videos in one place because it is very hard for people, especially those in other countries to keep track of what is trending in Zimbabwe,” said Mhishi.
Apart from making music available, he believes the application will not only benefit the listeners, but also rising and established artistes who have not yet had the chance to exhibit their talents to foreign markets.
“After I finished working on it, I realised there is actually more I could add to make it even better and help the artistes earn something from their works, so I decided to add artistes registration on the website and now I am working on how they can get some income,” he said.
“This is going to be a great platform for the rising artistes to publish their work as much as they want and unlike on the radio, it [sharing music] can be done anytime.”
He also said that it will help artistes that do not have official websites as it gives them a chance to make professional profiles along with their uploaded music.
Mhishi said he has had a challenge showing his foreign friends some of the best music in the country because most musicians were either not making videos, or were producing substandard material.
“People in the US have asked me about the greatest Zimbabwean artistes and I had nothing to show other than a few pictures on Google,” he said.
The 21-year-old also bemoaned lack of interest shown by musicians almost two months after he launched ZimboPlay online, saying they were not aware of the major benefits that they can get apart from getting their music to the rest of the world.
“I contacted several artistes telling them about my project but I never got responses, I do not know whether it is because of poor management of their pages or disinterest in the idea,” he said.
“I believe this will bring a revolutionary change to the music industry but the artistes are not aware of how much they will benefit from it”.