ARTISTES on Saturday night used the Bulawayo Music and Dance Concert to speak out against what they viewed as the negative portrayal of the continent by the West and its media as Zimbabwe joined the rest of the globe to commemorate Africa Day.
Jeys Mararabini set the ball rolling by protesting against what he said were the negative perceptions of Africa by Western countries at the concert held at the Bulawayo Theatre.
Jeys, who performed with Willis Watafi and other upcoming artistes, said Africa is a continent full of wonders and not poverty, droughts and famine.
“The Western perception of Africa is that of corruption, starvation, diseases and civil wars, but we say Africa is a continent of wonders,” he said.
Not to be outdone, Zet Moyo who played the acoustic guitar for Xmile, said Africa is a beautiful continent and no one must put a negative tag on the continent despite the problems the continent encountered.
“I am proud of being African. Africa must unite despite all the civil wars, poverty and disasters. No one should give Africa bad a name, but as Africans, we can give ourselves a name and that name is a beautiful continent,” he said.
The concert, aimed at celebrating Bulawayo’s talent in a bid to build an audience for world music and alternative arts activities, had a low turnout of about 90 people, but managed to give a platform for local artistes to showcase their cultural diversities.
The opening act was a fusion by Bulawayo Drummers and Drummers for Jesus who were followed by Alaina with her latest pop song Juice Box. Other artistes who performed on the night included Luke de Luks, Bozoe, The Outfit, Thandi Dlana and Harare-based singer Eve Kawadza.
Jeys also used the occasion to play songs from his latest album Silo.
Wataffi, with his blend of Afro-jazz which he calls qaya rootz, evoked feelings of pride in the African culture.
One of the organisers of the show, Butshilo Nleya, said the show was successful.
“In terms of the logistics there is a lot we need to learn, but I believe the artistes did their best,” he said.