RENOWNED South African songstress Yvonne Chaka Chaka, popularly known as the Princess of Africa, has urged artistes to resist manipulation by politicians and continue operating independently without any strings attached to their art.
Chaka Chaka made the remarks in Harare on Wednesday as a keynote speaker at the Stanbic Jacaranda Music Festival business conference. She was speaking on issues of creative legacy under the sub-themes artistic contributions, cultural impact, mentorship and philanthropy.
Her sentiments came at a time when the ruling Zanu PF has been accused of pampering artistes and musicians with gifts such as cars and money so that they praise-sing President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Several Zimbabwean artistes among them hip-hop singer Holy Ten, Chief Hwenje and DJ Masomere have been gifted with luxurious vehicles for bootlicking the Zanu PF leader.
Last week, popular comedian Sabhuku Vharazipi and his Ziya Cultural Arts Trust members also joined the Zanu PF bootlicking bandwagon.
“Artistes sometimes are put at a very difficult position being invited to perform for political parties. Politicians should leave artistes alone because they are artistes and they perform where they are paid,” she noted.
“Sometimes we as artistes are in a very sad position because you are invited to go and perform for (CCC leader Nelson) Chamisa, one day you go and perform for Mnangagwa, you do not know what to do. They should leave us alone, we are artistes.”
She continued: “Now if you go and perform for Chamisa, Mnangagwa will not invite you to come and perform. We are the creative industry and we should be left as such.”
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“Go and perform where they pay you. If they pay you to go and perform there you are not a politician, you are an artist.
“So, don’t categorise and put artistes in a box, you are here to perform for people.
Away from the stage, Chaka Chaka is also the vice- president of the International Confederation Societies of Authors and Composers.
The organisation advocates the rights, interests and financial independence of creators throughout the world including those who work in music, drama, literature and various forms of arts.
Meanwhile, the stage is set for the festival performances tonight at Old Hararians Sports Club.
The potentially explosive concert will be headlined by South African musicians Daliwonga and Murumba Pitch. The Mzansi stars will share the stage with songbird Tammy Moyo, dancehall singer Mannex Motsi and Those Guys Vacho, among others.
Tomorrow, South Africa’s Grammy Award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo headlines the evening concert, sharing the stage with songbird Ami Faku.
Also to perform at the concert is Afro-jazz singer Selmor Mtukudzi, urban groover EXQ, Matthew “Mateo” Kaunda, Sylent Nqo, rasta kwasa musician, Dino Mudondo, Willom Tight, Black Motion and Samuel Cosmic.
As the curtains come down on Sunday, South African multi-award-winning artiste, Judith Sephuma popularly known as the Queen of Afro Jazz will share the stage with fellow citizen Sun-El Musician, a celebrated wheel spinner, music producer and songwriter.
The Mzansi stars will be supported by an array of local artistes such as Gary Tight, Alexio Kawara, Ammara Brown and Ndlovu Youth Choir.