4 January 2019

Zimbabwe: Female Artistes Cry Foul

Zimbabwe's music industry has, for long, been dominated by male artistes. Women in music no longer gain the popularity like in the old days when top showbiz activities involved female artistes like Chiwoniso Maraire, Busi Ncube, Stellla Chiweshe and Plaxedes Wenyika.

Today, when promoters host big shows, they overlook female artistes and give preference to male performers.

Is patriarchy gripping hard on Zimbabwe music?

The issue of gender equality is eluding the Zimbabwe music industry as this has portrayed female artists as less successful in the game. Looking back in the year 2018 female songbirds that dominated were Tammy Moyo, Ammara Brown, Cindy Munyavi and gospel supremo Janet Manyowa.

Afro-pop kingpin Ammara Brown nailed hit songs such as 'Akiliz' and 'Watchu want', she, like any other top female artistes, was sidelined from grand shows that had stars like Koffi Olomide, Fally Ipupa and Morgan Heritage to mention a few.

In an interview with the Herald, one of the well-known concert organisers, 2Kings Entertainment representative, Dee Nosh said his promotion company supports everyone.

"I cannot comment for other promoters but as 2 Kings we support everyone.

"Our support is meant to foster unity between promoters and artistes and give fans an exciting package of performances from both male and female artistes," said Nosh.

Female artistes like Diana Samkange have been vocal in calling for inclusion at big shows.

Their protests were heard by local promotions company Jive Zimbabwe that organised an all-female concert to give local divas confidence.

Even beyond music, female artistes have cried foul over exclusion from top events.

In consideration, The National Gallery of Zimbabwe has been working tirelessly with the regards to redressing social injustices and gender imbalances within the arts zone.

The gallery hosted a women's exhibition last year in August. Themed the "Equality of Women" the exhibition attracted a sizeable number of female artists to exhibit.

The exhibition sought to show that for many years, women have been actively involved in art making.

As creators and innovators of new forms of artistic expression, collectors, sources of inspiration, or significant contributors as art historians and critics.

The National Gallery continues to be a hub of art as it has been the voice of reason for the marginalised female artist.

"Artists are given equal opportunity to exhibit regardless of their gender" said executive director Doreen Sibanda.


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