Multi-award winning all-rounder artiste Qeqeshiwe “Qeqe” Mntambo feels her talent is not respected and recognised in Bulawayo.
This comes when the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAA) are expected to release nominations for this years’ edition of the glitz awards in less than a month.
With the awards in their fourth edition, Qeqe has never been nominated on RoilBAA despite her raising the Bulawayo flag high at national and international levels.
Instead of bringing a smile to her face, the two National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) she won for best Actress in 2013 and For Best Outstanding Theatre Actress in 2018, constantly remind her that she is not seen in Bulawayo.
Hers has become a tale of a prophetess who doesn’t have honour in her home.
“Every time I look at these awards I feel like crying. How can I be recognised nationally when I have not been honoured in my own city?” asked Qeqe rhetorically.
She continues: “I feel like I am more of an underdog than underrated because I am seen outside the country and that is the only scale that can give you a good measure of your work.”
She blames local promoters and arts mafias for not recognising her work.
“There are certain people I know personally who can support us as artistes. I am not talking about people in general but about respected people, our elders who are tasked to make sure we get all the support we need but these are the same people who let us down.
“If somebody sees what you are capable of, he or she has to help you in a way but locally I have never found someone who I can pitch my ideas and they back them. That is why I always find comfort in working with someone from outside because they are not jealous or self-centred,” said Qeqe.
Her worry with local promoters and organisers is that they take business for pleasure.
“Abantu bafuna ukuncengwa (people want to be begged) and that’s not a good thing because this is work. It brings food on my table and you also benefit as a promoter or arts practitioner,” said Qeqe.
However, despite all, Qeqe feels it’s time she becomes a household name and she will be working with a number of people outside Bulawayo.
Her latest single Kukhon’ Engikuzwayo featuring DJ Skaiva is a prophetic song that gives hope that there shall be light at the end of the tunnel.
“I am getting calls from Harare and South Africa from people I won’t disclose for now, but with the processes we have done so far I am very happy. My song Kukhon’Engikuzwayo is very spiritual because I can feel my time is now,” said Qeqe.
Under the lockdown, Qeqe has done two online shows with an Indian promoter where she performed alongside India’s most sought after talents and lately at the August Credisi party.