HAVING realised that local gospel music has been struggling to penetrate into the regional and international mainstream music industry due to lack of proper marketing initiatives, artistes in Mutare have taken to the social media to boost their brands.
Inconsistency, unprofessionalism and lack of critical marketing skills have seen most gospel artistes in Mutare, either sinking into oblivion or failing dismally to penetrate into the mainstream music industry and shine.
Artistes such as Dorcas Moyo, Terrence Dzatsata, Benjamin Chimoyo, Collen Kanogwere, Blessing Shumba and Agatha Murudzwa among others have been on a vigorous marketing drive on the social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Moyo has increased her engagement on the social medial as she now boasts of more than 60 000 followers on her Facebook page, 80 000 Facebook Group followers as well as hundreds of subscribers on YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms.
Her song, Haakotsire by Wednesday had 933 000 views on YouTube and is about to reach a one million mark.
Blessing Shumba recently released a new album, Shumba yekwaJudah which has been trending on YouTube, Facebook and Whatsapp platforms with the album mixtape having garnered 2 600 viewers after it was uploaded two weeks ago.
Shumba said he is now working on visuals for most songs contained on the album and upload them to his YouTube channel.
“At least we now have our own version of a channel like Nash TV where artistes can showcase their talents through performing live session with a full band. Some of us have more than 10 band members who depend on us financially so this is a welcome development.
“Most artistes’ livelihoods have deteriorated because of the lockdown and had nowhere to market their works since gatherings are banned. The online platform will help us have new followers on our online platforms. This is a way to go,” said Dorcas Moyo.
Mutare-based preacher and founder of Joe Daniels Foundation, Apostle Joe Daniels who recently established an online TV station and performing studio, said musicians embracing the virtual route and increasing their visibility through the social media is the way to go.
“We have already set the ball rolling. As a foundation, we have realised that life has not been a stroll in the park for most artistes as most of them were surviving on musical shows through gate takings.
“This is part of our philanthropic work to assist the musicians. We also target disadvantaged artistes, particularly youths who are talented but lack opportunities and exposure.
“Artistes are greatly affected in these times, so such a platform will give upcoming and established artistes a chance to record for free as we provide state-of-the-art recording equipment which includes lightning and top class sound,” he said.
Blogger and music critic, Plot Mhako said there is need for local artistes to create more social media visibility.
“Artistes in Mutare need to collaborate with other artistes and build a bigger national fan base.
“Rutendo Jackie and Dorcas Moyo are good examples of artistes from the eastern border city who are doing that and it is starting to bear fruits. Bloggers and other media platforms in Mutare need to celebrate and promote the talent more so that it gets appreciation at home and afar,” said Mhako.