20 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Chisora, Music Is Not Boxing!

A lot of people take music promotion for granted. The thinking is that if you have a lot of money, you can call upon any artiste of your choice and set him up for a gig. However, it is not as simple as that. Agreed, there is not a school or college that I know of where music promoters can go and learn the trade, but it takes a lot of skill to become a successful promoter.

There are only a handful of professional promoters of music in Zimbabwe. The majority of the so-called promoters are fly-by-night briefcase promoters who are after a quick buck.

What usually happens is that one sees a popular band or artiste and dreams up an idea of how he/she could generate funds for themselves out of the band's or artiste's popularity.

A concert is then haphazardly organised with billposters and sometimes newspaper advertisements as the only form of publicity. From then onwards, one begins to call himself a music promoter.

This trend has also become rife in the United Kingdom where Zimbabwean music promoters are competing with each other to invite Zimbabwean artistes such as Oliver Mtukudzi and Alick Macheso in a bid to generate funds for themselves.

Examples of such promoters are Arthur Janjawa, Fungwa Mawarire and Ezra Sibanda, to mention only a few.

Lately other players in the UK have come to the fore and are bringing music promotion into disrepute.

Last month, Alick Macheso was invited by Marshall Gore to do some performances in the UK for a fee. He obliged.

Marshall Gore is an administrator and entrepreneur at Rollers Club situated in Enfield, London. He organises summer braais and BBQ parties mainly for Zimbabweans in the UK.

According to Gore, "Rollers Club is a leading social enterprise for Zimbabweans, and other African Diaspora communities living in the UK.

"It specialises in promoting and hosting social events for this group of people. Rollers aims to bring back the feeling of home away from home by providing a platform for these communities to socially integrate and rekindle the lost memories of Africa, which is home to many."

I am not sure why, but Rollers decided to rope in Zimbabwean boxer, Dereck Chisora on the promotion of Alick Macheso. I suspect it must have been for financial reasons.

It is said Chisora who has a reputation for vile language in boxing circles, became abusive during Macheso's UK tour.

After his performance in Leicester, one journalist invited Macheso for an interview and it was during this interview that controversial boxer Derek Chisora muscled onto and cut short the interview, saying he had not been consulted.

Macheso had just finished his show and was talking to Eugene Majuru when Chisora walked in and demanded that the interview be terminated. He shoved his hand at the camera saying he did not want to be recorded.

This is the kind of bad behaviour Chisora is known for in boxing circles and it is that kind of unprofessional behaviour and immaturity that brings the music industry down. Chisora said he had organised everything and had to be consulted before the interview took place.

Macheso had been hired to perform two shows by the promoters. During the interview, Macheso had spoken about his polygamous lifestyle.

He said: "Having two wives did not start with me, it started many years ago. At least I am open about it unlike other men who keep it a secret."'

He was talking about his personal life which the journalist was curious about, but for some reason, Chisora felt that because he had put in some money towards the promotion of Macheso, he had every right to be consulted about the interview.

I am not privy to the contractual agreement between the two, but I have never come across a situation where a promoter stops an artiste from exercising his freedom of speech because he has hired him.

If Chisora, felt that he needed to be paid for the interview because without his financing the tour, the interview would have not taken place, he could have been more gentle and reasoned this out with the interviewer afterwards.

There was no need to use bully tactics to stop the interview, which had already begun.

This kind of behaviour only helps to portray Chisora as a thug and tarnishes his role as Zimbabwe's boxing ambassador, unless that is the reputation he wants.

I watched Chisora's boxing bout with David Hayes in July this year and he was wearing the Zimbabwean flag on his boxing shorts.

That shows he is proud to be Zimbabwean, so I doubt that he wants to tarnish Zimbabwe's reputation by exhibiting such behaviour.

Chisora moved to the UK from Zimbabwe with his family in 1999.

During his amateur career Chisora had about 20 fights, winning a Four Nations gold and the 2006 ABA super heavyweight title, something we are all proud of.

Chisora turned professional on 17 February 2007, scoring a second round technical knock out against Istvan Kecskes.

Chisora's controversy began in November 2010, when he was found guilty of assaulting his then-girlfriend after finding text messages from another man on her phone.

He narrowly escaped being sent to jail, and was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay £1 500 in compensation and £500 costs and complete 150 hours community work.

The court was told that the fighter also had previous convictions for public order offences, assaulting a police officer and possession of an offensive weapon.

From that time, he has been involved in several brawls and violent behaviour that has not edified his careers.

Now he is a controversial music promoter and has started off on a bad note. I request more anger management treatment before he does another music promotion. After that, he can confront Macheso in a brotherly style.

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