Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
Some music promoters who could not stage any shows last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic have since asked for a waiver from the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) from paying promoters’ fees for this year that they have been granted.
However, only 13 promoters in the country who are registered under the Association of Music Promoters in Zimbabwe (AMPZ) were granted this temporary waiver. The 13 are Sound Blaze, Dollarbill Entertainment, Tamba Events, Christ Embassy, Family Inc, Chipaz Promotion, Werras Promotion, Red Rose Promotion, D&L Promotion, The Volt, Big Apple, Jive Zimbabwe and B Sikhonjwa.
Responding to AMPZs request, NACZ executive director Nicholas Moyo wrote a letter that was addressed to the association’s leader Patson “Chipaz” Chimbodza that read: “Guided by the Unesco guidelines on Culture in Crisis and realising the need to have interventions in times like these, I hereby grant temporary relief to only bonafide members of AMPZ who you represent. The waiver for 2021 is granted to those that were on board for 2020.
“The provision of NACZ SI 87 of 2006 empowers NACZ to deal with bonafide members of registered organisations. This is done to also strengthen your organisation. In this regard, the waiver is only extended to the following as supplied by AMPZ.”
Moyo went on to thank promoters for helping artistes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I would like to express my gratitude to you as a leader of AMPZ and the generality of your members for the great support you continued to render to artists during the most difficult time of Covid-19 and the related lockdowns,” said Moyo.
Following this waiver that applies to members of AMPZ only, some music promoters who are not part of this association, have called on NACZ to apply the waiver to all music promoters in the country as they were all affected by the pandemic.
Mduduzi Mdlongwa who runs 3D Events in Bulawayo said instead of just exempting promoters from the promoters fee, NACZ should also consider exempting them from paying clearance fees for artistes so that they try to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
“I’d have preferred the waiver to be for everybody as we were all affected by the pandemic last year. Also, this waiver must not be for promoters fees alone, but it must apply to all clearances like when we want to bring in artistes which costs up to US$2 000.”
Big Scale Entertainment director, Sibonginkosi “Mr Prince” Tshabalala said he thought the waiver was for every promoter not a select few.
“It was decided among us as promoters that we write to the NACZ and ask for the waiver. I thought this letter was representing everyone who is a promoter nationally only to discover that they only wrote for their own people and they were granted the waiver,” said a disgruntled Mr Prince.
He said this development was not fair on people like him who have renewed their licences for this year.
“I just renewed my licence and it’s not fair that the NACZ should choose so and so, instead of giving a blanket waiver to everyone in Zimbabwe. It doesn’t auger well with me and I’m sure many others.
“Some are failing to pay their renewal just because they aren’t making money and I’ve since lodged my complaint about this,” said Mr Prince.
NACZ communication and marketing manager, Rodney Ruwende made it clear that other promoters are not exempt adding that they issued the waiver to AMPZ following the association’s request.
“They are not exempted because it is the association (AMPZ) that requested for its members. The payment of registration fees is a statutory requirement and the director (NACZ) used his prerogative in exempting those that had applied as stated in the letter,” said Ruwende.
He however said promoters who registered their promoter’s licences last year are free to apply for a waiver.