The man behind Chipaz Promotions

tongai__moyo_dehwaHe has built the most prominent entertainment powerhouse in an impressively short space of time, bringing live entertainment worth paying for. (Pictured: Tongai Moyo was one of the first artists that Chipaz Promotions took on board when it was formed)

Throughout his tenure, he has promoted all the big names in local music circles and Rufaro Dube (RD) sat down with him for a one-on-one to find out more about the man behind Chipaz Promotions, Patson Chimbodza (PC).

RD; First things first, tell us, who is the man behind Chipaz Promotions and how did the name come about?

PC; Ahh, in simple terms I can say CHIPAZ comes from Chimbodza Patson, which is my real name. I am 33-years-old, born in Chinhoi and happily married to my beautiful wife Maurine. I have no kids though.

RD; I’m sure a lot of people are eager to know what inspired you to take up music promotion.

PC; I started promoting music four years ago. I am a guy aingofarira (who was always fond of) music and every time I went to shows, I used to hear people say ‘haa tiri kuenda kwaTuku, Macheso or Tongai.’ I then asked my self what

will happen if these big names retire? Does it mean the end of music? I then took it upon myself and the answer was upcoming artistes need to be groomed, but how was my biggest problem.

RD; Considering the limited opportunities in the country, how did you manage to keep your head above water?

PC; Well, basically, I approached various established promoters back then, but I did not get any joy. At this point in time, I decided to do it on my own. I straight away went to Pakare Paye (Arts Centre) and was overwhelmed by the reception I received from the management who then referred me to Sam Mataure. That was the start of Chipaz Promotions.

RD; Can you share how your music promotion expedition has been since then and how your presence has helped other artistes trying to eke out a living through music.

PC; After getting the green light from Pakare Paya, I quickly engaged Tongai (Moyo) and Kapfupi (Freddy Manjalima) and from there on it was a continuous process. But as time passed by, I then realised the need to engage upcoming artistes. To a certain extent I played a big role in getting groups like Sulumani Chimbetu, Apama Dance Group and Kapfupi where they are today.

RD; What is your greatest achievement so far in terms of changing the lives of artistes?

PC; Well my best experience is watching upcoming artistes rise to the summit under my assistance. I remember Sulu’s first show; he had 23 people at Club Chipaz, Makoni in Chi-Town (Chitungwiza). On his second show he had 40, third 160 and now he boasts of 600 plus, the same goes for Kapfupi. To me it’s just amazing. It motivates me to even work harder. Though I’m now doing big shows, I still engage upcoming artistes so that when people come to the shows, they will talk about the young musicians.

RD; What is your most memorable show to date?

PC; Ohh, my most memorable gig was the 2009 Shutdown, which I did with my friend Josh Hozheri last year on December 18 at HICC and we are planning to make it an annual event. If everything goes well, expect fireworks on December 17.

RD; Every road has its hurdles, what are the challenges youve faced on your journey?

PC; Like any other kind of business investment, I face challenges here and there. Advertising is very expensive and local companies are not assisting in grooming talent. In some unfortunate events, I make losses but I take consolation in the fact that I would have achieved my goal, which is bringing entertainment to the people. Usually when I advertise shows, sometimes I go out of my way in expenses to inform everyone about the upcoming show kunyangwe vakatadza havo kuuya (even though some fail to come). My motto is ‘Let Everyone Know.’

RD; Most local music promoters are kind of obsessed with bringing international stars here, can we expect Chipaz to bring in Eminem or Lady Gaga in the near future?

PC; No. I am hundred percent local and have no intention of going international.

RD; Last but not least, after a hard days work what do you do in your spare time besides promoting music?

PC; I am a sportsperson, though not by profession but by nomination. I play squash, soccer and rugby.

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