Emmanuel Hove Mhike
Popular Kwekwe Reazz musician (Reggae-jazz fusion) Bantuman I was attacked on stage during an event to celebrate the 67th birthday of Legendary Kwekwe musician Bob ‘The Headmaster’ Nyabinde held at the lit.
Speaking in an interview with this reporter, Bantuman I said the attack was a response to his upcoming song ‘Munoti kudii’ whose lyrics question the behavior of politicians towards and after elections.
“I was shocked to see myself being attacked for my yet-to-be-released song which is just a social commentary. Part of the lyrics goes “Munoti kudini nemaMP anongoonekwa nguva yesarudzo after elections vorova” (What do you say about the MPs who are only available during campaigns and disappear after winning elections). This was not received well by some sponsored hooligans who went on to splash beer on me while I was still on stage. Sensing danger I and my band quickly left the stage and as I was heading for the backstage one youth gave me a slap on my head and pull my dreadlocks. It was a horrific experience.
“I did not mention any names but was only urging public servants to serve their constituencies effectively by coming back to the people,” said the dreadlocked musician.
Midlands Provincial Arts and Culture Officer, Reward Shockson condemned the attack and said the Ministry is engaging police and eyewitnesses in an investigation that will see the hooligans facing consequences for their actions.
“The Ministry cannot remain silent when such incidences happen. We wish to see our artists enjoying a free environment. Their role is to entertain the people. Therefore no one can enjoy watching them being attacked on stage.
“We are going to engage the law enforcement agencies so that they can investigate the issue. It will be great if the perpetrators get arrested,” said Shockson.
The Ministry also pledges to develop and implement educative workshops that seek to inform and empower artists in issues of performing rights and reporting violence cases.
“We are going to conduct workshops and awareness campaigns so that all artists can know their rights. They have a right to report such cases. Some of them are afraid of being victimized by the hooligans, so they chose to remain silent. Artists should come to our offices so that we can assist them to report any form of victimization,” said Shockson.
Bantuman I is a popular musician who also owns the Bantu Studios record label. His studios and the Kwekwe podium with Bantu initiative have nurtured and marketed reputable artists like Aggah Nyabinde, Terry and the Bliss, Peter Moyo, Ronnie Mudhindo, Silas Muchemwa, and Cozzy Cozzille.
In a highly polarized society like Kwekwe, the Ministry of Youths, Arts, sports and recreation, and the police should always be alert to protect the rights and safety of Artists on and off stage.