BULAWAYO artistes have organised a protest walk against what they perceive as the marginalisation of the city’s musicians ahead of the Zim Hip-Hop awards ceremony in Harare on December 17.
The protest walk dubbed “The King’s Walk” is set to start from the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo statue at the intersection of 8th Avenue and JM Nkomo Street on December 13 and end in Harare on the day of the awards.
Speaking to Southern Eye Lifestyle, producer and music promoter Biko Maximus Maphosa said it was time for artistes to act.
“We appreciate the concept of giving hip-hop artistes awards, but if it is not done properly it destroys rather than build,” he said.
“It was unfair for artistes such as Peekay and Baba Shupi to be nominated yet they sing urban grooves.
“They should not use the name Zim Hip-Hop awards if they are going to sideline artistes from other parts of the country.
“Last week one of our co-artistes Calvin Mgcini was sent an e-mail to submit his music projects within 24 hours and that is not right. Awards are not organised overnight, they take time. If you are to say these are Zim Hip-Hop awards we feel they should have preliminaries for all the 10 provinces or at least start with five.
He added: “Let us know the criteria used a year in advance. There are upcoming hip-hop artistes that should be catered for who have no access to e-mails or WhatsApp.”
Titus Marume, a hip-hop artiste, also expressed concern at the selection of nominees.
“We have platforms here in Bulawayo such as Bigger than Hip-Hop, Da Grave Vine Battles and Street Hip-Hop,” he said.
“Organisers should have elected a board to monitor the projects that we do, not to say to a few submit what you have in 24 hours.
“They should put a press statement — make it public not only for a few people to know. We had to see final nominees on Facebook. We are calling all hip-hop artistes to join us for the 450km protest walk. We will make stopovers in cities such as Gweru and Kadoma.”
POY was nominated for the best male artiste award, but boycotted last year’s awards because organisers were not willing to give monetary prizes yet they were charging people to attend the awards ceremony.
Bulawayo artistes POY, Klap Da Grape-Vine, P2daoh, DJ Mark Vusani, Antivirus and Explosion, Anton Banana and Yeukai Zinyoro are some of the local artistes who were nominated, but none of them landed a single award in the poorly-organised and chaotic awards ceremony in 2013.