THE Princess of Africa, Yvonne Chaka Chaka has appealed to music promoters and the corporate world not to take artists for granted and exploit them thinking they are doing them a favour by engaging them for performances.
Chaka Chaka made the remarks at the Stanbic Jacaranda Music Festival business conference in Harare last Thursday.
She was speaking on the issues of creative legacy under the sub-themes artistic contributions, cultural impact, mentorship and philanthropy.
“I want to say to the people of Zimbabwe who are talented, it is imperative first to acknowledge who you are,” she said.
“I go back to the promoters and the corporates, we need to identify the young people who are talented.
“Promoters do not take these talented people for granted.
“Let us not exploit them, let us pay them what they are worth and not think that you are doing artists a favour.”
Chaka Chaka urged artistes to know their worth and not pity themselves.
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“Do you know what your worth as an artist or do you wait for someone to give you a tag?” she said.
“When you start feeling sorry for yourself, you need to take yourself out of that pity tag.”
Chaka Chaka also pleaded with male promoters and managers of female artistes in the industry not to abuse and force themselves on women and look upon them as objects of desire.
She said the creative industry must have some morals.
Chaka Chaka also commended the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) to pay artistes after every six months instead of quarterly.
“Collective management organisation (CMO), a collection society that enables copyright owners and administrators to collect royalties generated by several types of use play a very important role in an artist’s life,” she said.
“When you make music, it is important that you go and register your music so that no one can take away that music.”
In response, a Zimura board member said initially they have been paying royalties after six months, but they are paying quarterly because of the economic environment.
She also spoke on how difficult it is for creatives to get a loan from the bank, because artistes do not have full-time jobs and regular salaries.
Chaka Chaka encouraged musicians to work on collaborations urging promoters to chip in to push the music for the artistes.
Also, she urged Zimbabweans and radio stations to play more local music so that artistes can get their royalties saying charity begins at home.
She encouraged artistes to invest and not to squander the money they earn from their music as tomorrow may never cater for itself, adding that it is depressing to see artistes dying paupers.
Chaka Chaka said she owes her fame to the people of Zimbabwe who have embraced her.
“There are so many talented individuals in this continent,” she said.
“I owe my fame to Zimbabwe.
“The very first trip I took as a 20-year-old was coming to perform in Zimbabwe in 1987.
“The people of Zimbabwe embraced me, I owe it to the people of Zimbabwe.
“During our time there was no social media, but music just went, I do not know how.
“Music evolves and just spreads.
“You could sing in any language and people will interpret it the way they want.”