Jive Zimbabwe celebrates anniversary
By Showbiz Writer
Music promotion and distribution company Jive Zimbabwe turned four Tuesday; and it has been an eventful four years.
In the four years; the organisation has been pivotal in the launching of albums for Zimbabwe’s top artistes among them Jah Prayzah, Alick Macheso and Sulumani Chimbetu among others.
While they have the credit for the ambitious fetes like repeated Jah Prayzah launches at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), it has also come with heart breaks like the disastrous October 2 Support Local concert that was held at the same venue.
The gig was a monumental flop. But Benjie Nyandoro, the boss, sees the venture getting more into the region after signing distribution deals that grant them access to 10 territories.
“We pay more emphasis to local arts promotion but we recently signed a content distribution agreement that gives Jive Zimbabwe access to more than 10 territories. In the next three years, Jive Zimbabwe wants to be the content provider of choice, giving artistes access to significantly more territories thus expanding their reach. Jive shall continue offering its marketing services, leaning towards the use of Digital Marketing, among other contemporary practices,” said Nyandoro.
He said while they do not have no artiste that they regard as the best beneficiaries, the gains were relative according to the artiste.
“Jive Zimbabwe does not sign up artistes to a stable but for services. We offer services such as arts promotion, marketing, and distribution and we model artistes’ events to corporate standards attracting support from more stakeholders. To date Jive has worked with Sulumani Chimbetu, Jean Masters, Jah Prayzah, Alick Macheso, Dr Oliver Mtukudzi, Tariro neGitare, Cynthia, Bryan K and Gary Tight to name a few. There is no artiste we regard the biggest beneficiary,” he said.
“Gains are relative, what we care more about is that you have improved and enjoy the benefits of our intervention.”
According to Nyandoro the founding of Jive Zimbabwe was inspired by a Sulumani Chimbetu gig that he attended at Lion King in 2009 and was later formalised in 2012 with a one week long celebration at the Kebab Centre that had 21 artistes performing from October 19 to 25.
The gigs were scheduled as follows:
Friday 19 – Sulumani Chimbetu
Sat 20 – Mannex & Judgement Yard
Sun 21 – Jah Prayzah
Monday 22 – Munya Mataruse
Tues 23 – Dembo Brothers
Wed 24 – Urban Grooves
Thurs 25 – Peter Moyo
Nyandoro concedes: “It was torrid. Not to mention voluntary work by friends and artistes that include Blessing Vava, Tafadzwa Rwafa, Sandra Macheka, Milicent Chisvo, Sam Mhlanga, Bruce Dollar, Talking guitars’ Blessing, Professor Fred Zindi and Sasha among others.
“All these guys were never paid a dime,” said Nyandoro.
“Jah Prayzah was the only artiste during the one week long launch at Kebab, after it didn’t come through well, to say “I saw what happened please don’t pay me”. It was that day when I said I owe this guy. I didn’t tell him. I just did everything I could to honour such a gesture.
“Sulumani Chimbetu donated the PA System that we used for the entire week. Soon after the launch, our first event was Jean Masters album launch at Jazz 105. Misi haifanane (not all days are the same).”
Fortunes and misfortunes aside, one thing that the Zimbabwean music fraternity will always remember Nyandoro for will be his character; free, fun loving and caring.
He may not be the best gentleman for all but he is one that makes sure relations go beyond business to social and bothers you often enough to be part of your family.