IT is painful how local artistes are treated while they are still alive as they are not honoured and cherished.
Nevertheless, the respect they get when they lie dead in a coffin is crushing.
This comes to light with the passing on of Bulawayo’s king of hip-hop Mgcini “Cal Vin” Nhliziyo who was given a “hero” status and befitting send-off on Sunday (1 November) as he was laid to rest at Lady Stanley Cemetery, which is set aside and reserved for outstanding Bulawayo citizens, be it in the sports, entertainment, economic and political sector.
“Give them roses while they can still smell them,” said outspoken freedom poet Desire Moyoxide reciting a farewell sonnet to Cal Vin at Amphitheatre.
The 5 000-seater arena was full with some mourners standing, indeed Cal Vin sold out the Amphitheatre on a sad note, his funeral service.
“Where were all these people gathered here during your life time (Cal Vin)? Why are we all here today wearing printed t-shirts with your face, Banjalo vele abantu my King (people are like that),” said Moyoxide.
Delegates attending the funeral service were Bulawayo Mayor Solomon Mguni, Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube, Nicholas Moyo who is the director of National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and Highlanders Football Club Chief Executive Officer Nhlanhla Dube among others.
They were all given the opportunity to speak and a lot of promises were made in the name of the late.
“We have noted that the late (Cal Vin) was still residing at his family’s home in Luveve 5 and as the city of Bulawayo we sat down and came up with a decision to give his child (ren) a housing stand,” echoed the Bulawayo Mayor Solomon Mguni.
A representative standing in for the Minister of Youth, Sports Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry promised, “as the ministry we are giving the Nhliziyo family 50 000 (not disclosed whether in United States Dollars or local currency).”
The promises annoyed artistes in attendance as the ministry has not released Covid-19 relief funds for Bulawayo creatives while artistes from other provinces have received their share.
Giving a vote of thanks, Josh Nyapimbi from the Nhimbe Trust also representing artistes, made a passionate plea to the Government and city council officials to help artistes during the trying times of Covid-19.
“We are all affected by this pandemic especially us who have invested in the arts sector, we are pleading with you as our mothers and fathers to help us here and there because we can’t cushion for ourselves, we are also looking forward to receiving our Covid-19 relief funds,” said Nyapimbi.
From the lessons learnt through Cal Vin’s death as an artiste, Nyapimbi asked the director of National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Nicholas Moyo, to come up with resolutions that can help struggling artistes with their funeral policies.
“The arts industry is not generating income we expect as artistes and this leads to us not affording certain life expenses like covering a funeral policy. We are asking you (Nicholas Moyo) to help us in solving such issues,” said Nyapimbi.
He concluded by saying that as artistes they were having talks with FSG Zimbabwe, a funeral service that helped in providing assistance at Cal Vin’s funeral, in coming up with an artistes’ funeral policy that will help on covering Bulawayo creatives.