15 February 2013

Zambia: Be Self-Reliant - Veep Urges Musicians

VICE President Guy Scott has urged musicians to be self-reliant and promote their own music instead of asking for sponsorship from Government.

Scott said musicians should be independent and stop thinking that the Government was the one to promote their music.

He said Government would only award musicians whose music has made a significant impact in society.

Scott was responding to claims of marginalisation from Zambia Association of Musician (ZAM) Southern province president Chisenga Chashi at Chrismar Hotel in Livingstone at the weekend.

This was when the Vice President met members of the Livingstone business community and other sectors of the economy.

"For instance, we gave Dandy Crazy an award because his music made an impact in the country. Is that marginalisation?

Don't give up. Don't think the Government is the one which will promote your music. We will give you an award once your music has made a significant impact in society and people have bought it," Scott said.

Chashi, whose is popularly known as chiz-man, said the tendency of neglecting musicians especially those in Southern Province was not good.

He said even Members of Parliament (MPs) had never paid attention to musicians especially the Livingstone singers.

"We want an MP who will be voted for in Livingstone to pay attention to local issues including those of musicians.

Government should also do something to ensure that the issue of musicians being sidelined is sorted out," he said.

Chashi said musicians waned an interactive MP who would listen to cries of artists, include the youths as city prepares to host the August 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly.

Recently, a Livingstone based musician Mabel Zulu, 37, said it had come to her realisation that most musicians shun developmental songs like those which market the country's tourism because they thought that their music would not sale.

Mabel, whose song The Beat is Here has been adopted as UNWTO General Assembly theme song, said musicians should sustain their music and avoid looking to the Government to sponsor their music.

"Some musicians think that if they have to sing tourism songs, they need to be paid by the Government or obtain some sort of sponsorship.

This is an attitude which I think we should change. We need to put on the spirit of servant hood as we are called to give great service to the nation," she said.

Mabel, who is the Marketing Manager for The Courtyard Group of Hotels which have presence in Livingstone and Lusaka, said she was motivated and moved to sing a tourism promotion song after she

attended meetings addressed by Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo.

"As a representative of Courtyard Hotel, I attended all the stake holders' preparatory meetings for the UNWTO General Assembly in Livingstone which were addressed by Hon. Sylvia Masebo.

I was honestly moved by the passion Hon. Masebo had in all her speeches where she urged us Zambians to embark on domestic tourism as we have so much tourist attractions in Zambia and yet we seem not to be interested to visit these sites and we seem to have a situation where we have left all such to whites or 'ba zungus' only," she recalls.

Mabel said she was deeply touched by Masebo's speech when she mentioned that the next time she came to Livingstone, she would go in the Townships and explain to the local people on what the UNWTO

General Assembly was all about and on what it meant to host the global tourism conference in Zambia.

"It was at that point that I got moved and thought of composing a song that would help deliver the message to the whole country.

I must clarify here that I was not approached by either the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) or Ministry of Tourism and Arts to compose and record the song.

It was purely my own initiative to do The Beat is Here song and I used money from my own savings to do the song in case one thinks I was funded by ZTB or the Ministry of Tourism and Arts," she said.

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