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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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BUSTOP TV: Template for success

Congratulations to Sharon Chideu and Samantha Kureya for winning the people’s choice award at the recently held Zimbabwe Women Awards.

By Tinashe Mutero

These two ladies are part of BUSTOP Tv a production house which mainly focuses on creating content for distribution via social media networks.  ZIWAs might not be the awards on everyone’s lips in as far as the arts are concerned. However, this is primarily because their focus is not just on arts but on women of substance across all sectors of our society. Add to that, ZIWA celebrates Zimbabweans at home and abroad. To that end, for the BUSTOP Tv ladies to be voted the people’s choice on such a platform which brings together the very best of Zimbabwe’s ladies is a milestone achievement. Congratulations once again, BUSTOP TV team. I hope that Jah Prayzah’s win at the MAMA will inspire you to reach dizzy heights. I will use this opportunity to also congratulate Jah Prayzah for winning big at the MAMA.

It’s not accidental that I mention BUSTOP Tv team in the same breath with the phenomenal Jah Prayzah (Team JP). One cannot help notice that hard work, unbridled resolve and aggression are common characteristics for these two brands. As BUSTOP Tv basks in their glory, I thought I would unpack what I think are the strengths of this team and perhaps many can emulate their model. Let me hasten to say that most of what I am going to say here is mere conjuncture.  I did not take time to interview anyone from BUSTOP TV to find out more about their operations. Instead I have observed from a distance and occasionally chatted with Luckie Aaroni. There is actually a lot one can learn from just observing successful and times unsuccessful enterprises. There is no wisdom in rushing to copy a particular artist sound or style without understanding the philosophy behind their business.

BUSTOP Tv was formed at a time when Zimbabwe is going through a myriad of economic challenges. There is a whole forest of stories detailing about how bad our economy is and if one spends their time trying to make sense of the maze they might just get mad. What we know is that the crises has given birth to a lot of selfish and get rich quick individuals at the very worst. However, there is also a very large pool of unemployed university trained young people eager to give their ideas a chance to live, often they find nowhere to do it. If you want you can draw parallels to the circumstances now and those which made great musicians of yester years. Times of hardships made Sungura Boys, Mukanya, Chopper and the like.

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At a time when many untalented people use art to escape unemployed BUSTOP realized that there is an opportunity to mix the ‘raw talent and tertiary education and create something sustainable and set them apart from the rest. This team of young people did not spend their time worrying about where they would get capital to build expensive sets or do big budget productions. Instead they managed to identify, mobilize a team of people with different but interrelated strengths. There are many who thought this team would crumble when Boss Kedha and Bhutisi left but they didn’t most probably because their strength did not lie in individuals but organisation.

The Mabla 10 Effect

I cannot help but see that BUSTOP Tv also have what I call the Mabla 10 effect. Many people wonder, what Mabla 10 does at the 3rd Generation Band. Of course he might have graduated to a less insignificant but paying role now but a few years back Mabla was definitely, the nuts and bolts guy at 3rd Generation. He is a veteran of the arts, prepared well by community theatre. He is the guy who gave Jah Prayzah, hope making him believing that he is going to make it someday. I read he is the guy who introduced Jah Prayzah to Chippaz. Every band or arts start up needs that one person who is enthusiastic and knows the doors to knock. That person who is not limited by what he or she possesses but is driven by an undying hope that all will be well. Perhaps, Derick Nziyakwi is the Mabla of BUSTOP TV? The kind of person I am referring to here knows the industry’s standards and is there to cheer the team all the time. For musical bands, this is the person who will be dancing the night away even as the rest of the audience watch glued to their sits, like zombies. He or she gives energy to both the band and all who are in attendance. How many of us would say they did not wait to hear Mabla laugh or say “Anogara kwaMazai”. I did and still do.

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I am not an atheist but I have observed many instrumentalists now prefer to play for praise and worship teams. Realising that charismatic churches have destroyed the future of bands, I suggest that our young people could use the platforms they get at these churches to make new and original music. They should desist from doing covers of popular songs or showing off how good they are with scaling. BUSTOP Tv is good at creating original content which speaks to our everyday realities and identifies with our forms of story-telling.

Need I talk about the collaborations that BUSTOP Tv has worked on? Just like mega star Jah Prayzah they continue expanding their reach through working with fellow comedians who include, Cde Fatso, Doc Vickela and Michael K. Collaborations however, show not be done for the sake of collaborating, there has to be a vision and well thought strategy for achieving set goals through such. Congratulations Magi and Gonyeti  and well done to BUSTOP Tv team I hope that yours is a template which many can develop successful enterprises from.

Tinashe Mutero is an Applied Ethnomusicologist by training and can be contacted at muteroinnocent@gmail.com

 

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