By Christopher Mahove
Music piracy in Zimbabwe, like in any other country, remains the biggest challenge faced by players in the industry with artists and recording companies losing hundreds of thousands of dollars through the practice, which has proved difficult for authorities deal with.
As part of efforts to curb the vice, Jive Zimbabwe established an online platform where musicians can sell their music.
Launched only this January in partnership with mobile network provider, Econet Wireless, the platform has gained popularity among musicians as it affords them a wider marketing coverage without the risk of piracy.
Jive Zimbabwe founder and executive director, Benjamin Nyandoro, revealed in an interview Wednesday that they had become the main content provide for Buddie beats and one music.
“The online music store, which is free to every musician, has become our competitive edge as it reaches out to the rural areas, in urban areas such as Harare and as far as England and other countries.
“This helps musicians beat piracy and earn an extra buck.”
Nyandoro said by signing up with Jive Zimbabwe, musicians had the benefits of getting their royalties on the same day as well as insurance cover.
Jive Zimbabwe has so far worked with big artists such as Alick Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah.
Nyandoro said as a way to promote the artists’ music and also their band, they were holding monthly celebrity birthday gigs in partnership with arguably the country’s number one music station, Power FM.
“To further increase the visibility of the artists, we have entered into partnership with Power FM where we hold joint birthday parties for celebrities who have their birthday on that particular month.
“Our partners also see value because the artists also advertise the station,” he said.
One such gig has so far been staged featuring more than 30 celebrities, with more lined up every month until December.
“For instance, Sulumani was born in May and he will be the star attraction for that month’s gig,” he said.
Over the years, piracy has grown to become big business, with hundreds of unemployed youths turning to the vice to eke out a living