THE proliferation of upcoming gospel music ministers in Zimbabwe is certainly good news in the spreading of the Word of God through song and is sweet music, literally, to the industry.
gospel music sermon with The Master
While most of these young talented artists such as Tembelami, Flem B, Munyaradzi Munodawafa and Kudzi Nyakudya, among others have made it to the big stage both locally and internationally, I have a few words of advice for others following in their footsteps.
Upcoming gospel artists, like those in any other music genres, face many hurdles at the infancy of their careers.
These challenges are mainly due to a lack of funding to invest in their music and it is also hard for them to get both print media coverage and airplay on radio as well as television coverage.
The mainstream print media, being business-oriented, is wary of making news of these “nonentities “ as they are generally regarded as not newsworthy and will not make a positive impact on newspaper circulation in the highly competitive market.
The same concerns also apply with the electronic media as the artists face stiff competition from seasoned musicians like The Charambas, Takesure Zamar-Ncube, Shingisai Siluma, Reverend Togaripo Chivaviro, the Mahenderes, Blessing Shumba and Fungisayi Zvakavapano-Mashavave, among others.
My concern with most of these upcoming artists is that they now seem to have a penchant for rushing to have their works published in the media without polishing-up their productions.
At face value, this is not entirely a bad marketing strategy, but the concern is that the youngsters have the misconception that it’s the media that will do the miracle for them!
They relax and do not take time in investing in their music first before rushing to the media for publicity.
Least I be misunderstood, my passion is to give these talented artists a chance to prove themselves on the grand stage through the media but they also have their own part to play.
In fact, they have the bigger part to play for the product and the talent is theirs. The media is not the end, but a means to an end. It can only do so much.
While I have been noticing this trend or should I say misconception by the young singers for a while, there is one case which has triggered this piece I am writing today.
There is a young artist, who I shall not mention by name, who approached me seeking to feature in this column.
What surprised me is that less than two days before he had appeared in a local daily paper and the reporter had done a good job, I must say.
So why do you want to appear again in the media so soon after this beautiful article? I asked him before I advised him to contact me again after a month.
Why I said a month, you will soon discover.
He did not disappoint, exactly two days before the whole month had expired, he was back again, reminding me of my promise to him.
I said to myself, let me give him a chance and I asked him if he had something new that is newsworthy that had happened in his career in-between our last discussion and now?
Not really, was the honest answer he gave me. As an afterthought he then mentioned something to the effect that he was working on a new DVD to be launched sometime soon.
Praise God that he saw my point and he promised me that he is going to work hard by investing all his time, energy and talent into making his latest album newsworthy on its own.
You may contact the columnist, Albert Masaka on Emailalbertmasaka7@gmail.com