Mupfumi pushes Mutare promoters out

The emergence of transport mogul Esau Mupfumi in the showbusiness scene could be a blessing to entertainment-starved revellers in Mutare, but it’s proving unpopular with other promoters.

Esau Mupfumi
Esau Mupfumi

The rise of Mupfumi in music circles has been a thorn in the flesh for other promoters who used to thrive in the business.

Since Pick n Save Superette, owned by Mupfumi, became the new port of call for top acts, most promoters in the eastern border city have been counting their losses.

Some have been forced out of the business and former prominent entertainment joints have been left empty. Venues such as Flava Town, Afripot, Tops Night Club, Motoring Club, Soul City and Gulliver’s Club have scaled down, while Chapter One Leisure Centre, Stinos and Cannibal Inn have been pushed out of business.

Several promoters have been forced to cancel their scheduled shows after their dates clashed with Mupfumi’s.

Recently, a highly publicised Heroes Day Eve gig at Motoring Club, featuring superstar Oliver Mtukudzi, Peter Mparutsa and The Runn Family, was cancelled at the eleventh hour.

The show coincided with another show promoted by Mupfumi, which featured a powerful line-up of dancehall acts – Winky D, Souljah Love and Tocky Vibes, as well as contemporary artist Jah Prayzah.

In April last year, Mupfumi pulled the rug from under another promoter’s feet when he took over the show of South African house group Big Nuz. The show was initially organised by G3 Big Fun Entertainment director Obey ‘Big Fish’ Hove.

Insiders indicated that the incident created frosty relations between the two men. Promoters who spoke to The Zimbabwean attributed the demise of most Mutare promoters to the dominion of Mupfumi in showbiz.

“Mupfumi is not making it easy for his fellow promoters. If anyone is bringing a prominent artist here with banners and posters already circulated, Mupfumi later brings in three or four musicians on the very same day. One will be left with no choice but to cancel the show,” said a disgruntled promoter.

Mupfumi is using his financial muscle to control the entertainment sector in the city. Most joints and promoters have been kicked out of business since he came in.”

However, music analyst Tendai Midzi said there was nothing amiss with Mupfumi’s antics.

“People need to also consider that this is a business where there is competition. So we have to understand that promoters have to compete, just as musicians, companies compete to stay in business,” said Midzi.

Post published in: Arts

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