HomeOpinion & AnalysisWho stole this year’s Christmas happiness?

Who stole this year’s Christmas happiness?

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WHO STOLE this year’s Christmas cheer? It’s three days to the day and the festive season cheer remains AWOL. Is it the banks with their cash shortages? Who is to blame?

Even the free spending injiva and the huge trailer pulling malayitsha vehicles are rather scarce this year.

It’s very worrying that the year seems to be ending at such a low note and sombre mood. Nothing appears to be festive about the festive season this year and fans of great entertainment and the entertainers themselves are bone worried.

In the past years at this time of the year, places of leisure would usually be buzzing and overflowing with imbibers and fun lovers from all and sundry, young and old, but this year it feels more like June in December. This is always the time when musicians, actors and dancers hop from one stage to another and one event to the next, but that again has eluded us this year.

I have a feeling that people just don’t have enough spending power this year and without that then entertainment and celebrations would always take back seat.

There is still time though to bring the cheer back as we enter the main festive week that will see us celebrate Xmas and unveil the new year.
The past week hosted several shows by artistes from all over the country with the gurus from Harare choosing that weekend to invade Bulawayo one last time before the year shuts down.

These included the likes of Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, Sulumani Chimbetu, Jah Prayzah and Peter Moyo among others. I am still not sure if it was a good idea for the artistes and promoters of those respective shows to host them on the same weekend and nights because it seemed to confuse fans leaving them undecided on which venue to grace.

The rains did not make life easier for the fun lovers — but truth be told we can’t wish the rains away as we really need the precious liquid. I have always insisted that in my opinion Bulawayo is a very small city to host more than three big shows on the same night.

I know competition is healthy and people are free to choose which show they prefer to attend, but in such limited turf it does affect returns. The people came out in their numbers, but then it was not the usual — judging by the empty seats and spaces at most of the venues. As the year comes to an end I could not help but notice a new trend in our entertainment scene — a trend that we should acknowledge and celebrate.

We should give it up to our local comedians for breaking new ground. If you ask me, this year’s merit award goes to them for standing out in their standup comedy in 2013. Suddenly comedy has become a huge crowd puller and trending entertainment genré in our locality. Making people laugh is by no means an easy feat let alone when they pay to be made to giggle.

The past two years I observed upcoming and seasoned standup comedians from this region working hard to promote their art and judging by the success of the recently held Bulawayo Night of a Thousand Laughs.

Hats off to the likes of Clive Chigubhu, Babongile Sikhonjwa, Ntando Van Moyo, Keith Nkosi, Long John and Elando Marshal the general, among others.

The last popular comedian I remember in my school days was Madlezibabayo, but this new generation has revived a revitalised life’s best medicine: Laughter!

There has been an outcry of late on the lack of younger musicians and bands produced by the southern region. Most importantly it cannot be denied that we have fewer female singers than we would have appreciated. On the contrary I could not ignore the massive talent churches seem to be producing and this year they really outshined many an aspiring musician. There is something about churches that defies explanation in how much talent they produce.

So many young people who sing well and play musical instruments are products of various churches and that alone is a good sign. Is it that churches are good at training young musicians or the fact that many of them make resources available to the youth? Surely it can not only be by grace that all those angelic voices are produced.

The SDA church and other pentecostal churches have indeed spearheaded the growth of new talent in music for the country. My only reservation though has been that most of these churches do not allow these young artistes to grow outside the church be it singing circular music or going commercial and performing at public arenas.

With all due respect to their religious guidance, I do feel that this stunts the growth and blossoming of the great talent that they cultivate in their churches. For saying as much, may I wish everybody a merry Christmas and happy prosperous new year!

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