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‘January disease’ takes toll on showbiz industry

After a very busy and exciting festive season, Bulawayo’s showbiz industry has been hit by the so-called “January disease”.

Sindiso Dube

“January disease” is the annual hard times that hit all sectors of the economy and the working class after heavy spending during the festive season.

From a season which saw a hive of activities at almost every corner of the city, it is the middle of the month and not one notable gig has been held, or is in the pipeline.

Horizon Night Club music promoter DJ Joe Tha Og said business was very low as most revelers usually had little or no disposable income during this period.

“Business is relatively low this month. January is a month for us to rest as there is not much activity,” he said.

“That is why you will see that most people do not organise shows or other events during this month because people won’t turn up.
“People are tired and want to focus on other things such as school fees.”

Tha Og added; “Judging from past years, business will pick up in February when clubs and other leisure centres celebrate Valentine’s Day. It usually gets better from March and I believe this is the trend everywhere.”

Klub Kulca’s DJ Ohmz said January is a difficult month for showbiz, but promoters should apply strategies to revive the mood and not kill the industry.

“The economic situation is bad, many did not get bonuses and the little they had went to pay school fees and to buy food,” said DJ Ohmz.
“Promoters should come up with ways to continue hosting shows regardless of the fact that we are in January.

“Our club is actually in talks with an artist who wants to perform before month-end and we will share details with you soon.”
Popular Gweru DJ Tune-master also shared the same sentiments.

“Business is very low at this time of the year, especially when Midlands State University students who usually flock Gweru clubs are not around and we take this opportunity to rest,” he said.

Bulawayo had a busy festive season, hosting the highly publicised Kalawa HomeComing Party, that featured top South African musicians AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Oskido, DJ Fresh, Pepsi, Tira, Mafikizolo and Dbn Nyts, among others.

However, Club Forty 40 has devised innovative ways of beating January blues as it is hosting erotic dancers Spider and the Naked Weapons and the Step up Dance battle on Friday and Saturday.

The club’s entertainment manager Sibanengi Ndebele said they had lined up several shows for January.

“We have a lot of shows in the pipeline; the club will continue to give quality entertainment despite the fact that it is January,” Ndebele said.

Meanwhile, Harare showbiz players have defied the “January disease” by hosting gigs and album launches when many have set the month as a time of resting.

Jah Prayzah and several Harare-based musicians have attracted hundreds of fans at their shows despite the economic hardships associated with the month of January.

Rapper Schingy, real name Shingirayi Maunganidze, launch-ed his album Gushungo Ve Hi-Hop on January 9 at The Volt.

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