14 December 2012

Zambia: Shakarongo Mounts Pressure On NAC, ZB Over Awards

ETERAN Zambian Musician, Brian Shakarongo, who last month challenged the National Arts Council of Zambia (NAC) and Zambian Breweries to explain their claims of organising Zambia's "first ever music awards," says he is infuriated with the continued running of same advert on television.

Shakarongo, who stormed the Times of Zambia offices in vivid fury on Sunday says it would be for the good of the NAC and the Zambian Breweries to withdraw the running of the same advert on TV before he takes the matter to a different level.

He says it would not do Zambian Breweries and their partner NAC any harm by merely acknowledging the fact that this is not the first ever music award in the country.

"This is sending a very wrong picture, especially to people who are visiting the country for their first time to learn that a country like Zambia can host the first ever music awards 48 years after independence! Please let's put things right," he says.

To back his call, Shakarongo made available to Times Entertainment historical photographs and documents from the first ever Zambian music awards.

He says he is disappointed with the NAC chairperson Mulenga Kapwepwe who he says would have guided Zambian breweries on these unfounded claims.

According to information gathered by Times Entertainment, Zambia had its first Music awards presided upon by Zambia's first Republican President Kenneth Kaunda on April 3, 1981 making the "first ever" claims by NAC and Zambian Breweries unfounded and untrue.

The awards were organised by the then National Music Industry Committee of which Shakarongo served as secretary.

When contacted for a comment over the claims, NAC chairperson Mulenga Kapwepwe, acknowledged that indeed the awards were not the 'first ever' in the country but that the undertone "first ever" was derived from the fact that it is the first time government was partnering with the private sector to come up with a musical award intended to stand the test of time-a justification Shakarongo shoots-down as invalid.

"We are not saying this is the first-ever award in the country because like in the Kaunda government there were a number of awards and even in the recent past... but what should be emphasised is that in this new government, this is the first time such a partnership is taking off," said Kapwepwe.

But Shakarongo has insisted that if NAC chairperson says the undertone 'first ever' is for the partnership, then even the advert should be rephrased and should sound something like:

"The first ever partnership between Zambian Breweries and NAC brings to you the Zambia Music Awards 2012,"and not the other way round.

He insists that Zambian Breweries and NAC should correct what he has described as misleading information currently running as a promotion on Television, on radio and even on posters.

"I am now convinced that there is a deliberate scheme to disregard veterans who played a major role in the development of the Zambian music industry. As such we demand that NAC and Zambian Breweries publicly apologise for misinforming the masses," said a riled Shakarongo.

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