Zimbabwe: Music Promoters Losing Battle Against Bouncers

26 November 2019

They are effectively becoming the Mafia of the entertainment industry.

Rogue bouncers ruined Madirirano Festival, which was hosted by Simba "Body Slam" Chakare in Highfield, Harare, last August.

That time, the Music Promoters' Association chaired by Josh Hozheri was quick to call for a meeting attended by various arts stakeholders, including media personalities, to brainstorm on possible ways of stopping bouncers from repeating the same in future.

During the meeting, it was agreed that police should play their role and bring to book perpetrators of violence during music shows and other events.

Commitments were made to engage responsible authorities to ensure sanity prevailed in the entertainment industry.

Hozheri and his team promised to take the bouncers head-on, legally, and vowed to write a letter to the police's highest office requesting assistance.

Barely five months later, bouncers seem to be back to their old habits of causing mayhem at shows.

They marked their return during the Castle Lager Braai Festival on November 2 at Old Hararians Sports Club.

The bouncers reportedly overpowered security personnel manning the entry points, let people enter without paying and later followed them inside the venue for payment.

It was said the bouncers would then pocket the money at the expense of the event organisers.

Incidents of chaos perpetrated by these bouncers are being reported at various music shows with the latest being on Sunday at Electric Quench, formerly Extra Mile, where Alick Macheso and Lady Storm had a family show.

Two rival camps of bouncers clashed causing ugly scenes of violence that saw stones and empty bottles being hurled at each other.

Some people got injured, while others were forced to leave before Macheso's performance out of fear of being injured.

Could these incidents of violence and hooliganism at music shows signal a failure by Hozheri's organisation and the police to deal with rowdy bouncers?

Partson Chimboza of Chipaz Promotions said there was need for unity if the "war" with the bouncers was to be won.

"So far, there is nothing concrete as far as the association is concerned, but what is there is the eagerness to deal with the issues.

"It appears members of the association are too busy to continue pursuing the matter. We need unity among promoters to push for the agenda without being pushed by certain incidents.

"I think it is only unity of purpose that is lacking to deal with the issue," he said.

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