Lovemore Meya Arts Correspondent
KeNako boss, Peter Gwaza, who was accorded a doctorate in philanthropy last week, believes entertainment is business and is lobbying for other entertainers to streamline professionalism into their work.
Gwaza’s immense contribution to the arts industry caught the attention of the International Institute of Philanthropy who honoured him for his efforts.
The producer said the award was meant to thank him for his relentless work in giving a new lease of life to many.
“It is a doctorate in recognition of my support, my philanthropic activities over the years. I am a well-travelled person and have met various people who are within the industry,” Gwaza said.
“People out there exposed to my involvement in developing the arts industry have seen it fit to thank me by recognition of the sterling work I have done and continue to do in order to improve the industry in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Gwaza believes that entertainment is serious business.
“Just looking at myself, I am a full time entertainer, but I hold a doctorate degree. It is actually a clear sign that entertainers are also educated people. For instance, Professor Freddy Zindi specialises in entertainment, but writes articles, a clear sign of how intellectual entertainers are.
“Let us reap the benefits of entertainment and re-organise ourselves.”
He called upon other players in the industry to fight with one voice for them to be heard.
“I am appealing to fellow entertainers to come together for us to map a way forward and start reclaiming our rightful position as an industry. As entertainers, we group people and other sectors, companies feed on the masses that follow us.
“We are the people who create a perception on anything to make it likeable and it is the right time for us as entertainers to take our rightful place and challenge the status quo,” he added.
Gwaza said many companies are making massive profits through entertainers while most practitioners in the industry were paupers.
“It is high time we claim our actual position so that we are regarded as equal to other stakeholders and the moment they realise our value or see that we really know our value, it will change our lifestyles. We would want to see musicians driving posh cars, living in low density suburbs, making it big in terms of income because it is a business,” Gwaza said.
The KeNako boss, who also graduated in BSc in Mechanical Engineering and a post graduate diploma in Business Leadership, was involved in choir groups at school and at church, leading him to form a ‘90s outfit known as the Gospel Millionaires. Later on he discovered Freddy Kapfupi Manjalima, funding his street theatre project and entry into music.