Global event highlights equality, sustainability in music industry

MCAZ country director Melody Zambuko.

The 78th Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) Global event, held in Harare from September 18 to 22, brought together music industry professionals from around the globe to discuss pressing issues in the field, with a spotlight on youth development, gender equality and sustainability.

The event comprised a two-day music conference, public concerts and the JMI annual general assembly that took place at Manna Resort on September 21. Delegates discussed strategies to create resilient and sustainable cultural programmes and exchanges.

Music Crossroads Zimbabwe Academy (MCZA), also known as JMI Zimbabwe, held the event at Cresta Msasa and other locations around the city. It brought together members of the music industry professionals, creative entrepreneurs, artists and festival organisers for a week of stimulating discussions and performances.

“We are so excited and very happy with the outcome of the whole event. It was a fortnight of a variety of activities,” MCAZ country director Melody Zambuko told IndependentXtra.

One of the central themes of the event was gender equality within the music industry. The role of women in organising festivals took centre stage with women noticeably occupying festival management roles across the African festival arena.

Expert panels, including figures like Namakau Star, an alternative R&B and hip-hop artist from South Africa, and Neeta Ragoowansi, the executive director at Folk Alliance International, discussed the strides made within their respective spaces and highlighted the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equality in music related opportunities and accessibility. The lively discussions highlighted the importance of equal representation.

The event featured panel discussions that tackled different topics such as The Future of African Music Education, and Fostering International Cooperation among others. Another key panel explored the roles of African music festivals in nurturing the next generation of African musical talents. Industry leaders like Paulo Chibanga, CEO of the Azgo Festival in Mozambique, and Tamanda Mbendera founder of Festival Institute (Malawi) emphasised the need to bring accessibility to African festivals and foster sustainable employment.

Related Topics