By Gumisai Nyoni
South Africa-based Zimbabwean artiste Precious Hanya has embarked on an ambitious journey to support the underprivileged in the country through sponsorship of charity organisations, including children’s homes and people living with disabilities.
Hanya says social responsibility is his ultimate goal since his school days. After migrating to South Africa in 2006, the musician did not detach himself from Chitungwiza’s less privileged residents — a community which shaped his upbringing and still influences the way he packages his music.
With two albums to his name, Hanya says musicians must go beyond basking in the glory of their fame and cultivate back their proceeds to organisations that assist orphans, the disabled and individuals that are finding it difficult to fend for themselves as a gesture of empowering them to be self-sustainable in the future.
“I have established the MR P music brand that produces music meant to cater for various audiences. This will be complemented by a clothing label under the same title to make us visible in the communities we operate in. The project is also targeted at creating employment for the youth, most of them currently jobless,” Hanya said.
“Music is part of our everyday life, so I think the best way to participate and promote community development is through music. We plan to grow the MR P brand to be part of many charity groups and organisations that champion the upliftment of the less privileged in different societies. The clothing label will play a significant role in raising funds for this project.”
Meanwhile, Hanya implored Zimbabwean artistes to believe in themselves, urging them to uphold indigenous rhythms instead of imitating musicians from other countries, saying it accords them a sense of originality.
He bemoaned artistes whose music resembles that already produced by foreign artistes, especially from the United States, whose global hegemony in music is widely felt in most countries across the globe.
“Musicians must have a sense of originality and must not be afraid to express themselves through their indigenous ways of expression. It is usually that uniqueness of each tribe, religion or ethnicity that differentiates creativity from copying and reproducing other countries’ artistic successes. You can be the best when you create and not through copying,” he said
Hanya said his desire was to carve a peculiar music genre rooted in self-belief, aimed at resembling the Zimbabwean outlook in relation to its language, among other aspects of stagecraft.
“I don’t aspire to be like someone else in the music industry. My desire is to be recognised through brilliance in creating new beats. Music is my calling, I don’t do it on a part-time basis, hence I invest all my zeal and intellect into it,” he said.
The 38-year-old musician’s new album, The Return, was produced Mono Mkundu and his maiden six-track album, The Beginning, hit the market in 2006.