Econet Wireless’ Ziyawa kuEcoCash promotion’s first monthly draw in Bulawayo was a resounding success despite efforts by some groups in the city to bar people from attending because of the inclusion of Jah Prayzah and Winky D on the lineup.
A few days before the event took place at the Large City Hall car park, Mthwakazi Republic Party had written a letter to Econet asking them to reverse their decision to bring Jah Prayzah and Winky D to perform at the draw suggesting that they replace them with Bulawayo artistes.
On the lineup was Jah Prayzah and Winky D with Iyasa being the only group from Bulawayo.
Read the letter dated June 6 :
“It is with great concern to note your bizarre decision to import labour into Bulawayo in the form of artists when Bulawayo and the region at large has great artists. For a big corporate which is well supported by people in the region, this is a big disappointment and will not be condoned.
“We have Bulawayo crowd pullers among them Jeys Marabini, Sandra Ndebele, Khaya Arts, Khuxxman, Hwabaraty, Martin and Ndolwane Super Sounds, Clement Magwaza, Cal Vin, Gazi Elimnyama and Ezimnyama. . . the list is endless.”
According to Mthwakazi, the telecommunications company should have not brought artistes from Harare as the Bulawayo artistes were capable of drawing crowds.
However, Econet seemed to have tweaked their lineup after the Mthwakazi requests as award-winning singer Novuyo Seagirl and Mzoe 7 ended up performing at the event.
Responding to the issue raised by Mthwakazi, social media users had mixed feelings with some agreeing while others felt there was no harm in bringing the country’s top artistes.
One Facebook user, Solomon Chikumbu simply said: “Econet must support Bulawayo-based musicians.”
Jabulani Marapara suggested that Econet, to fix this mess, needs to: “Make it reciprocal and take Bulawayo singers to Harare to perform there.”
Ndabezinhle Mkhwananzi who was also in support of Mthwakazi concurred: “Econet is undermining our local artists. Why bring people from Harare? This country will never move on if everything has to always be ‘Hararean’.
“We acknowledge that they (Jah Prayzah and Winky D) are good artistes – that’s why we nominated them for the BAA Awards, but Bulawayo surely has talent from Cal Vin, Seagirl, Iyasa, Khaya Arts, the list is endless.”
Morgan Sikwila on the other hand said Econet had brought in artistes from Harare as the Bulawayo ones are not crowd pullers.
“It’s unfortunate the so-called Bulawayo artistes are not crowd pullers at all. It’s a fact. Their entertaining levels are very low. The people of Bulawayo don’t even know the said regional artistes save for Sandra Ndebele and Jeys Marabini (flops).
“The function will have become naturally a non-functional function because of non entities. Rise above tribal issues Mthwakazi,” wrote Sikwila.
“I don’t think Econet was wrong. It’s all about crowd pulling and these guys (Jah Prayzah and Winky D) are the greatest Zimbabwean musicians at the moment,” commented Saunyama Courage.
Dennis Tariro Zishiri suggested that in future, if people do not like a selected lineup, they simply must not attend the event as it will not be for them.
“If Mthwakazians don’t like Jah Prayzah or Winky D, don’t come to their shows, it’s as simple as that. There are many of us who love these great artists and we’ll continue to support them.”
Despite this hiccup, the event was a huge success as people turned out in their numbers and filled up the car park.
The crowd which seemed to be enjoying every moment of the free event, was more than double that which attended the Bulawayo @125 celebrations at the same venue last Tuesday.
Both Winky D and Jah Prayzah performed for about an hour each.