The festive season came and passed, it was supposed to be the time for local artistes to do a litmus test, perform and weigh if they can pull local crowds.
Covid-19 circumstances and restrictions of the lockdown allowed them to shine.
The Government imposed a measure that was meant to see foreign artistes who intended to perform in the city to quarantine for 14 days before holding a show in the country.
However, no one knows how it all happened, but foreign acts such as the 2021 much anticipated gig the Vaccination Party by Big Zulu, Blaq Diamond, Boohle, Durban Gogo not forgetting Mr JazziQ, they all performed in the city.
“Black Diamond will perform in the city because they hold a “special waiver,” B-Metro quoted one of 3D Event’s co-founders before the Blaq Diamond gig which took place at Umguza Yacht on 4 December.
Despite the police trying to make sure that every show, either graced by a local act or “nicodemusly” by foreign acts, they had to end before the curfew which starts at 9pm, almost every show which took place in Bulawayo did not respect the curfew.
There were loop holes on how to host and manage gigs.
Even Bulawayo foreign-based artistes such as Austria-based Vusa Mkhaya, the duo of South Africa-based artistes Berita and Bekezela, also hosted gigs without undergoing the two weeks quarantine period.
At least their “The Real Homecoming” gig started and ended on time in respect of the curfew.
A number of shows that were meant for local artistes to perform were cancelled on the last hour with the major one being the 9ice festival that was meant to take place at Busters Sports Club (The Smokehouse).
Some of the local artistes that managed to have a cheque signed during the festive season include Fab G (who became a star at the Big Zulu gig), Qeqeshiwe Mntambo, Fish F Ndaramu, Novuyo Seagirl, Vuyo Brown, Msiz Kay and MJ Sings, to mention a few.
However, in as much as they had a feel of the stage, some were used in expense of being given “exposure” by the local organisers as on their own “they can’t pull crowds.”
A lot of old folks in the local music industry were taken advantage of way back.
They were tricked to perform for exposure while they got nothing for their sweat.
Outspoken musician and fashionista Mr Kata is among artistes that were tricked in exchange of VIP access, fame and expensive free alcohol.
He took to his Facebook page to narrate his ordeal as an up-and-coming Mr Kata.
“There was a time when I was on almost every single poster in Bulawayo. Almost every weekend I was performing somewhere, but I stopped because I realised that I was losing more than I was gaining.
“Yes! my brand name grew during that time but all that growth was only putting pressure on me. I would use my own fuel to get to the venue, get to the gig and buy my own drinks.
“Worse, I was moving with a team and the only thing you get for free is the VIP access for your team. After the performance, you hear stories like the gate takings were not enough or come on Monday after we count the money.
“Come Monday, you will hear stories after stories and it gets exhausting. In some situations, I could vividly see that it’s a loss and I couldn’t start demanding money from someone who just suffered a loss.
“Sometimes we would perform for the love of the art just to see people’s reactions to new music or even for the love of alcohol, but progressive business wise you gain nothing.
“If you are a young up-an-coming artiste, that whole lifestyle is alright but if you have been pushing for a while, it becomes really exhausting. Sometimes you will be only killing your own image by trying to squeeze into those gaps,” wrote Mr Kata.