SEASONED musician and producer Clive Mono Mukundu says most artistes are struggling to survive due to government’s failure to deal with piracy.
By Moses Mugugunyeki
In a recent interview with The Standard Style at his studio in Hatfield, Mukundu said piracy was allowed to flourish by authorities in a country whose economy was on its knees.
“Government failed to deal with piracy during the initial stages. They have allowed people to sell discs on the streets for $1 or less and curbing this scourge at this moment is proving daunting for authorities,” Mukundu said.
He said government failed to consider the plight of most artistes, the majority of who are now failing to make ends meet.
“We have an economy that is struggling and we have people illegally selling music products on the streets. How do you expect the arts industry to prosper if products are sold willy-nilly on the streets?” said the veteran musician who celebrated his 45th birthday on September 15.
Mukundu said it pains when you consider that it takes about two hours to record and produce a two-minute-long song, but someone would sell that product for a song.
The former Oliver Mutukudzi guitarist said piracy had destroyed all music shops and record bars.
He is one of a handful of musicians who have earned a living through music. He attributes this to consistency and hard work.
“Yes, we have piracy and other challenges like the ailing economy, but some of us have survived in such a scenario. I attribute this to hard work and zeal to succeed,” he said.
His musical journey started with a group which he formed while he was in Form 3 in 1988 at Mufakose High School.
“We formed a group Sarungano Chatters with friends when I was doing Form 3. However, we failed to record any song because we did not meet the recording requirements back then,” he said.
“In 1989, I joined a group called Chax Brothers which was based in Kuwadzana and had the likes of Admire Kasenga and Jackson Phiri. We moved to Norton in 1990, but I later left the group for Chikokoko, a group which was known for traditional and reggae music.”
From 1994 to 2002, Mukundu worked as a session guitarist for different gospel groups which included Ivy Kombo, Carol Mujokoro, Mahendere Brothers and Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave, among others.
“I joined Tuku in 2003, but left in 2007 when I joined the late Chiwoniso Maraire up to 2008. However, I had established a studio in 2006, but did not have time for it. In 2008, I decided to work in my studio full-time and I am still enjoying it,” he said.
Mukundu’s Monolio Studio has worked with accomplished musicians that included Alexio Kawara, Jah Prayzah, Hope Masike, Maraire and a number of upcoming artistes.
He said if it wasn’t for the economy, he would have been one of the richest artistes in Zimbabwe.
“It is unfortunate that we are wasting our energy for unscrupulous people who are selling discs on the streets. It’s a pity that piracy is also affecting us producers. We are supposed to get 3% in producer points from music sales,” he said bitterly.
Mukundu is eager to see government bringing piracy to an end, which could see the return of record bars.