Zimbabwe has had a good year in the entertainment circles after hosting a variety of international artistes from both secular and Christian entertainment spheres.
In the last two years, the country had an opportunity to host big names on the international Christian scene, which included Don McClurkin, Nicole C. Mullen, Hillsong Church from Australia, Joyous Celebration, Sipho Makhabane and Rebecca Malope.
The same hype was experienced at the secular scene where music lovers marvelled at the presence of Sean Kingston, Akon, Sean Paul, Brick and Lace and a host of dancehall musicians.
Having seen all these artistes we as Zimbabweans should be able to question how much the local music industry has gained during and after such concerts have been held.
This time around gospel music lovers should expect more entertaining music from the world’s renowned gospel artiste, Kirk Franklin, who will be coming to Zimbabwe this festive season on December 4.
Kirk is famed for high-powered danceable praise and worship tunes and is also a leader of a 17-member praise and worship choir titled “The Family”.
In a recent interview Kirk is quoted as saying he was coming home referring to Zimbabwe and that his choir was joining him on his journey.
“All God’s people, this is your man Kirk. All my brothers and sisters, I’m coming back home. December 4th, Zimbabwe, that’s right . . . Kirk Franklin and the whole crew, the whole band . . .”
Although Kirk Franklin is a major highlight on this concert, one wonders whether local artistes will be allowed to share the stage with him.
In recent concerts we have seen very little participation of local gospel artistes on shows where visiting international artistes have performed in Zimbabwe.
Much as we may enjoy the musical performances of these international artistes and groups, more should be done by music promoters and concert organisers to include local artistes on concerts.
We have seen a fair participation of local artistes in secular entertainment where such iconic local musicians as Winky D, Alick Macheso and other young artistes have shared the stage with visiting artistes.
Reports have shown that some of these shows produced fireworks due to a mixture of highly entertaining acts by local and the visiting artistes.
Having said this on secular entertainment, it is saddening to note that not much has been done in gospel music in terms of promoting local artistes through pitting them with visiting international artistes and groups.
Usually, instead of taking part on concerts, we find our local gospel artistes joining the crowd to enjoy the concerts.
A case in point is the Hillsong Concert that I attended in October this year.
Although the concert was a classic one in terms of gospel entertainment, one would always be tempted to question why local artistes were not included.
I personally expected to see the likes of Sebastian Magacha, Diva Mafunga, Ruth Mapfumo add some local flavour to the entertaining music during the Hillsong concert.
Although the concert organisers may have had their own reasons
for limiting the concert to the Hillsong group, including local gospel artistes would have been a commendable job.
We hope to see some improvement on the Kirk concert where such names as Pastor G, Sebastian, Ruth and Charles Charamba among others to be listed on the concert menu.
There are numerous advantages that come with pitting local gospel artistes with visiting artistes in concerts.
Local artistes would enjoy the much-needed exposure that comes along with performing in front of large crowds.
Such concerts would motivate local gospel artistes and give them an assurance that their music is of acceptable standards.
Local gospel artistes would also learn new lessons on such aspects as music composition and song writing from some of these foreign visiting artistes.
The local music industry would also benefit if local gospel artistes are able to be identified by international music promoters as this may gain them recording contracts at a time when such contracts are hard to come by.
Source: The Herald