A sungura music outfit from Redcliff, Midlands province, has raised the red flag over worsening financial challenges which the current Covid19 induced national lockdown has brought to their lives, with some of its band members resorting to menial jobs for survival during the lockdown.
Under the guidance of Evias ‘Sox’ Zigandiwa, the Redcliff based sungura ensemble has been hit by hard times and senior band member, Langton Madima who is also the group’s publicist is now an airtime vendor in the teeming suburb of Rutendo.
With three albums to their belt, Mavanga Express entered the bloated local music industry in 2012 and the group has significant following in peri-urban and various mining communities around the Midlands.
Madima told Zwnews in an interview yesterday that they had decided to indefinitely suspend studio rehearsals and other music-related undertakings to focus on ‘hustling’.
He said the upkeep of the band was solely dependant on the live gigs which the band used to hold in peri-urban and rural communities within the province.
The situation we are faced with is quite saddening. As you can see, I am selling airtime for I cannot be a crybaby whilst my family will be looking up to me to have food on the table,” Madima opened up while speaking to Zwnews.
“This (airtime vending) is illegal as you might be aware but there’s absolutely nothing we can do since music shows are banned and there is no other way we can make money to sustain our families. The band members are also singing the blues as they were also looking up to us for financial backup,” he said.
Madima also revealed that they have patiently waited for promised disbursements from the Kwekwe Chapter of the National Arts Council, but nothing has materialised as yet.
He also appealed for help from the corporate sector to rescue, not only Mavanga Express, but other musical groups facing the same predicament in the country.
Since March 30, Zimbabwe has been on a Covid19 induced lockdown which has since been revised to a relaxed level 2 but the ban on gigs, and even religious gatherings, has not been lifted.