ZBC blamed for blacklisting musicians

zbc_logoMUTARE - Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has been blamed for blacklisting artistes thereby pushing them out of business.

On the sidelines of a workshop on Creating Space for Media Reforms held here last week, Freeman Chaipa, the Advocacy Officer for Institute of Information Dissemination and Marketing Services (IIDMS) said it was unfortunate that the public broadcaster was being manipulated by Zanu (PF).

A public broadcaster should serve the interests of the masses. It is not a secret that the people are no longer willing to listen to ZBC programmes because of its cheap propaganda. No wonder why almost every household in urban areas now watch foreign television services through satellite dishes, said Chaipa.

He said the institute had received complaints from various artists seeking services to distribute and market their products.

IIDMS is an organisation that distributes and market information services and entertainment materials on behalf of its clients.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director, Elvas Mari, last week told the media that it was up to the policies of an institution to deny a musician some airplay.

Every institution has its own policies. ZBC has its own policies of not to playing certain music on its stations, he said.

However, Mari said musicians had the right to get hold of the council and the council would raise the complaint with ZBC.

Culture Fund Director, Farai Mpfunya, said many musicians were being forced out of the profession.

Musicians who have had their music black listed include ZORA music superstar Leonard Zhakata, Hossiah Chipanga, Raymond Majongwe of Diziri kuChinhoyi fame, Oliver Mtukudzi, Andy Brown and Thomas Mapfumo.

Meanwhile, the Corporation, tormented by dwindling viewership and listenership, owes musicians $600 000 in royalties.

ZBC is supposed to remit royalties to Zimbabwe Music Rights Association for payment to musicians by June 1 every year.

We are currently in talks with ZBC and we hope that they will make an obligation to pay. They paid $50 000 in March and had promised to pay $200 0000 end of May, said ZIMURA director, Polisile Ncube.

ZBCs non-payment of royalties has irked most musicians who said they were languishing in poverty.

ZIMURA chairman, Albert Nyathi, said it was unfortunate that ZBC was not paying musicians.

I am very disturbed to note that ZBC has the nerve of asking for licences when it is not paying musicians royalties. How can they expect us to pay their licenses when they are not paying us? asked the popular musician.

Nyathi said he was prepared to be taken to court by ZBC for not paying the licence.

ZBC spokesperson Sivukile Simango was not forthcoming when he was contacted for comment as he declined to talk to the Showbiz saying he did not want to talk to the private media.

Post published in: Arts

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