Zim musicians and actors resort to ‘pirating’ their own work

via Zim musicians and actors resort to ‘pirating’ their own work | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo October 31, 2013

Upcoming musicians and filmmakers say they have been forced to think outside the box in order to survive in the country’s increasingly competitive creative arts sector.

According to musician Tendai Tazvivinga Dembo, the son of singing legend Leornard Dembo, this includes musicians ‘pirating’ their own work.

Speaking on SW Radio Africa’s Big Picture programme, Dembo said the reason is partly to do with recording and distribution companies not doing much to market and expose artistes to wider audiences.

Dembo said: “Many upcoming musicians are now pirating their music because that is the only way they can push the volumes of their music and become known.

“It is the duty of recording studios to market us as musicians, but they don’t do this effectively. They may do this for the first 2-3 months and then sit on your project.

“How then can you get known by listeners if your music is not out there? So musicians get a copy of their music then duplicate it and sell it on the streets or during live shows,” Dembo added.

Film producer and actor Lloyd Kurima, better known as ‘Mabla 10’, said as an artist it is important for him to stand out and be visible in the industry if he is to survive.

Some of these strategies include screening their films from televisions balanced on top of their cars at bus terminuses during peak hours.

Kurima said he also doubles as a coordinator at prominent musician Jah Prayzah’s shows, which means that he can sell some of his DVDs at these shows.

“I also cast popular celebrities in my productions, for example in my upcoming comedy Bag Rabvaruka 3, which should be out anytime from next week, I have enlisted WinkyD, sungura maestro Alick Macheso and Jah Prayzah. We also work with shop owners who advertise in our series,” he said.

Both Dembo and Kurima revealed that to counter piracy, artistes are also selling their CDs and DVDs at the same prices.

“Because at the end of the day, there is no point in having your $5 musical CD sitting on a shop shelf while vendors are selling copies at $1 each. So some musicians find it is better to reproduce and sell at that price too because that will bring in an income, and the much-needed publicity,” Dembo told SW Radio Africa’s Big Picture programme.