Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT will enforce the 75 percent local content policy to promote local artistes because music is an industry with potential to create employment, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has said. In an interview after touring StarFM Studios and Natprint in Harare yesterday, Prof Moyo emphasised the need to help local musicians improve the quality of their music in line with international standards.
Prof Moyo — who was accompanied by his deputy Cde Supa Mandiwanzira, Permanent Secretary Mr George Charamba, Zimpapers board members and senior managers — said: “The young people who got this opportunity out of the 75 percent local content have grabbed the opportunity with their hearts, souls and mind and demonstrated that they can do it. They are as creative as their peers anywhere else.”
He said the challenge was now on Government to help the musicians produce quality music.
“For us to move to the next stage, especially in the lucrative markets like South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, they (musicians) need the kind of equipment similar to what is used by their peers.
“We now have to invest in quality equipment in terms of recording. This is happening at a time when we have understood that the CD as a format for mass production is almost extinct and there is a digital market. We need to expose our young musicians to the new digital market so that they can benefit.
“We now know that live performances are a major source of income for the industry.
“For performance to generate income, we need not just the public address system, but a carefully thought-out identified sound system for live performances so that we change the quality for the better.”
Prof Moyo stressed the need to help local musicians acquire new skills around sound, lighting and stage design.
“We really want our young people to showcase their talent. We want their live shows to be no different to those across the Limpopo (South Africa) or Nigeria.
“This is a commitment we have made. We want to make sure that we are able to facilitate in the process. There is a lot of interest on Zimbabwe and in the iconic leadership of President Mugabe. We now have the opportunity to showcase these young Mugabes to the world,” he said.
Prof Moyo spoke of turning artistes like Sniper Storm and Winky D into the “P Squares” and other internationally-acclaimed musicians.
During his tour of StarFM, Prof Moyo and Cde Mandiwanzira briefly went live on air at 3:15pm.
He said he was a listener of the station with news hour as his favourite.
Cde Mandiwanzira said he liked listening to the Breakfast show adding that the ministry was very proud of Zimpapers as a group.
“We are very proud as a Ministry to have under the ministry an institution like Zimpapers who are the owners of StarFM. It is world class,” he said.
Cde Mandiwanzira also threw his weight behind the 75 percent local content policy.
Prof Moyo acknowledged positive developments at Zimpapers, describing StarFM studios as amazing.
When he introduced the 75 percent local content policy about a decade ago, Prof Moyo faced criticism from some quarters but the policy gave birth to creative local artistes whose music is now greatly appreciated.