Lack of funding hampers success for Mbira Dzemapfungautsi 

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Isheunesu Tirivangani

The music industry has been hard hit by the economic situation coupled together with corona virus lockdowns that were introduced to curb the spread of the pandemic; this has seen some music bands such as Mbira dzeMapfungautsi failing to showcase to the world what they are made of.

Mbira dzeMapfungautsi an upcoming music band led by Fadzai Nedzi and comprises of 16 group members, with seven females and nine males. It is based in Gokwe center and the members are striving to make ends meet through conducting shows which provides them a little bit of income.

“The journey to music industry is not all that easy mostly to the upcoming artist since we do not have funds and sponsors to support us with the things that may help us to reach at the top such as quality mbiras, our own means of transport and uniforms amongst others. We also need amplifiers, speakers and mikes to make our sound better when we perform on stages,” said Hlomani the spokesperson.

“I want to give courage and hope to those who are on the same genre with us to stand still and not to lose hope but to work hard because there is still hope in traditional music to restore our culture and teaching Ubuntu to our young people.

“African traditional music is now slowly fading and there is need for push and revival and hard work to put it back on the track as it largely carries our history.

“We are faced with challenges of funding this dragged us back to record our first album with six tracks and we are looking forward for people even sponsors to help us to record our first album with heat tracks. We are trying to work on a video of “Zviri nani ndiyende kurenehama” our song we composed at the bira conducted in Gokwe Tongwe to try and claim it our own song since the song is stolen by other groups though piracy” he added.

“Kurenehama” composed by Job and Jane says they perfomed this song as a bira collective in Gokwe tongwe in the early morning hours, during a bira in Gokwe Tongwe. They had gone all night and as the sun was rising and all protocol is done, someone decided to do a cell phone recording and we believe that person licked our song.

“Kurenehama is a national anthem here we sing it every day only that we failed to get registered for an audience based perfomance contest at Dzimbanhete which was going to be our chance to claim our song,” said Hlomani.

“Our aim is to identify talent and grooming, socialization, networking, reviving and restoration of our culture and traditions earning a living from the shows. Our music is also good for soothing, relaxation and entertainment too” he added.

“We also have our own constitution that guides us and the leadership amongst our group members. We have singers, dancers, mbira players on top of that each and everyone has a unique talent that makes our band strong” he added.

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