Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
THREE years ago, gifted video director Vusa “Blaqs” Hlatshwayo was distraught and wanted to retire from the music industry as it was not paying.
He cried then that no one wanted to pay for quality music videos yet people thought he was making a lot of money.
Blaqs had partnered Jah Prayzah’s Military Touch Movement record label and has up to today been involved in some of the musician’s music videos including Chikomo and Kune Rima.
He was also involved in the production of videos for ExQ’s Bhachura, Ammara Brown’s Wachu Want and Thabbz ft Cal_Vin’s Hey Wena. These music videos featured on Channel O, Trace, Zambezi Magic and other international music video channels.
People were impressed with Blaqs’s productions and each time a music video by him was said to be in the pipeline, it generated excitement.
What was however, unfortunate is that despite having been acknowledged for his efforts through awards, he was not a happy man because he was not getting much from his works.
Blaqs at one time contemplated leaving the music industry but in 2018 decided to soldier on.
He sounded warning shots when he produced Jah Prayzah’s Dzamutsana and Sadza Nemuriwo.
Blaqs proved that he had the capacity to come up with creative, intriguing and captivating music videos that had a story of some sort.
When fans had started enjoying his works, Blaqs pulled another shocker last year when he threatened to quit the music industry as he accepted his National Arts Merit Award.
“This is an honour to me and this is also my goodbye to music videos,”he said as he left the stage.
In a follow up interview, he then hinted that he wanted to focus on his family so he did not want the production of videos to keep distracting him.
He however, continued to produce videos and it seems he is maturing by each passing year.
Just this month he proved he was among the best when he produced Jah Prayzah’s Munyaradzi, Mukwasha and Chiramwiwa videos off the Hokoyo album that was released last week. The videos proved popular with fans.
The most touching one was Munyaradzi which got some people shedding tears. It was a captivating video from start to finish. Blaqs was able to bring out the lyrics and storyline through camera shots, acting and sequencing of the whole story.
Asked whether he still harbours the idea of retiring given his good works, Blaqs said he was still of the view that he is shortchanging his family by concentrating on producing music videos.
“The thought behind the retirement was very noble and correct and I still agree with my decision then. It was about family and I am still convinced I have an obligation to give more time to my family. I am a father and my growing kids need to learn from me every day,” said Blaqs. – Follow on Twitter @bonganinkunzi