By Sindiso Dube
In a rare trend, outspoken Bulawayo-based poet and playwright Prince Mazilankatha will launch his debut album on a Zupco bus, in what he said would be an intimate affair with old and new fans.
Touted as imbongi kaMthwakazi, Mazilankatha’s album is titled Sisenjeni, meaning “We are in trouble”. The album carries 10 tracks packaged as poems.
Fans are expected to board the bus in the Bulawayo city centre for Empopnini in Cowdry Park and back to the city.
Mazilankata said the album was inspired by the struggles artistes have been facing during the Covid-19 era.
“It’s a collection of poems under the theme Lamentations of an ordinary Zimbabwean artiste.
“Since the first lockdown last year, artistes are struggling to make a living and even Covid relief funds that are distributed only benefitted a few individuals,” he said.
“This is just a Zimbabwean artist expressing his feelings. Artists are very hungry while those in offices are enjoying life getting their salaries every month and we should not wait for them to change things for us cause they will never do so.
“The album is about life The challenges we face in life as people, it’s a 10-track album titled Sisenjeni. Looking at our current situation everyone is in trouble, financially, health-wise, relationship-wise, and so forth.
“So, I am trying to encourage someone out there not to take one’s life because of these troubles. We are all in trouble, but it’s not the end of life.”
Explaining the idea behind launching the album on a bus, the poet said: “Since all the leisure spots remain closed we have nowhere where we can perform and earn a living because we survive by the money we get from these shows.”
“Now our offices are closed, we have no ways of making money and when we cry to National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and our mother the ministry, they keep on telling us to be innovative and think outside the box.
“In my way of being innovative, I saw Zupco bus as the best venue for my show. Zupco carries more than 75 passengers and most of these buses play music inside,” Mazilankata said.
“So, I will sell my tickets for a dollar in advance then organise every one with a ticket, we pay their $30 for Zupco and the show starts as the bus takes off.
“Once we get to Cowdry Park eMpompini, we pay again our $30 and come back to town. As for Zupco agreeing on this plan, I am not sure, but there is no harm trying.