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Club Joy Centre gives lifeline to artists

Music promoters the world over are regarded as exploitative and are viewed as people who reap where they do not sow. However, that is not the case with local promoter, David Mudzudzu aka Boss Mudzudzu, whose joint Club Joy Centre in Highfield has turned out to be a lifeline for local musicians.

By Staff Reporter

Touted for bringing music to people through open-air gigs which are performed at Club Joy Centre at Machipisa Shopping Centre in Highfield, Mudzudzu said there was no better way to promote local music, especially upcoming musicians.

“The idea behind the open-air gigs is to reconnect fans with their artists. What we want at the end of the day is a boon for both parties. The concept is to give the upcoming musician a platform to perform and meet their fans,” he said.

“Normally, we give the artist the platform, instruments and at times transport to perform before a sizeable crowd and the next time they hold their shows, they are easily recognised.”

Last year Mudzudzu surprised many when he drove to Glendale to engage troubled sungura musician Paradzai Mesi.

“I wanted to give Paradzai a second chance because I knew he was talented. We agreed and he came and had his show at Club Joy Centre where he was supported by other musicians and from there, he relaunched his career. I hear he was having gigs alongside Alick Macheso during the festive season and that is good for him,” he said.

Apart from Mesi, Mudzudzu extended his helping hand to other sungura stars — Tedious Matsito and Josphat Somanje — who had fallen on hard times.

“I try to make the artists known. For instance, Mark Ngwazi and Tendai Dembo are now popular and are holding shows of their own.

I also give a lifeline to those who could be facing challenges, like we did for Tedious Matsito and Josphat Somanje,” he said.

“I am told all is not well for [Hosiah] Chipanga and we are trying to reach him so that we bring him to Harare for a gig at Club Joy Centre.”

Mudzudzu operates a number of joints in Harare and Chitungwiza under the Club Joy Centre banner, with the Club Joy Centre in Highfield being the most popular rendezvous for music lovers.

“We also have other Club Joy Centres dotted around Harare and Chitungwiza where we also hold shows, but Club Joy Centre PaFio is the most popular spot, thanks to these free-for-all music jamborees,” he said.

Musicians such as Andy Muridzo, Progress Chipfumo, Tryson Chimbetu, Douglas Chimbetu, Somandla Ndebele, Potifa Mopo, Dembo, Wasu, Francis “Franco Slomo” Dhaka, Peter Moyo, Ngwazi and Freddy Manjalima aka Kapfupi perform regularly at the joint.

Last Friday, Mopo performed at the Club, while Dembo — who has become a popular figure there — serenaded fans with old school from his father’s archives as well as some from his three albums.

Today, Wasu and the Syndicate Crew wraps the weekend with what looks like a top drawer performance, considering that the group never disappoints when it comes to live performances.

Dembo described Mudzudzu as a rare crop of promoters to emerge in this era where promoters are after musicians’ money.

“Not many promoters are like him. He is down to earth and has a big heart for us artists,” said Dembo.

“The platform that he gives to us serves as a window for upcoming artists to market themselves. He has done a lot for me and I appreciate that,” he said.

Mudzudzu, who was born and bred in Mhondoro, said he owed his life and success to the support from his family, God, his peers, supporters and fans in the music industry who have always rallied behind him.

“No man is an island and I believe my success is largely because of the moral support I receive from my family, God himself, my peers in the music industry and the music lovers and customers who continue frequenting my entertainment joints both in Harare and Chitungwiza.

“It’s one thing starting an idea and another getting the public buy-in and I am really thankful for the love I get,” he said.

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