Give us equal opportunities: Female creatives plead

The Chronicle

Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Reporter

THE official day to celebrate women, March 8, has come and gone, and as we progress in the month of March that honours and appreciates the presence of women, it is high time we hear their pleas.

Gone are the days of patriarchy and here are the days of equality.

Just imagine a gender-equal world. A world that is free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women’s equality. This should be at the forefront of the minds of all who want to see the country’s creative sector bloom.

The talent endowed within the country is just phenomenal.

From the busiest border town of Beitbridge we have the likes of actress Charmaine Mudau, Bolo house songstress Defeat The Vocalist, in Gwanda the likes of Pamellah and Sandra The Artiste jumping to Victoria Falls where there are the likes of Cingi.

Bulawayo is amassed with talent from teen stars of the likes of Helen Nyati, Mandie Mae, Blue Rose to renowned creatives that include Novuyo Seagirl, Qeqe, Rudo Amor, Sandra Ndebele, Racheal Voko, you name them the list is endless.

In order to appreciate their contribution to the arts sector, Saturday Leisure will in the month of March mingle with the females in the creative sector to hear their pleas.

We start off with a few of them who gave a glimpse of how they spent their Women’s Day commemorations and the challenges they have faced in their professional arts career journey.

Helen Nyati said she is planning to host a belated visit to a mental health institution and emphasised the need for women to be regarded as equals with their male counterparts.

“In celebrating Women’s Day, my plan is to visit psychiatric women patients at Ngutsheni Central Hospital. A letter was written to the CEO of the hospital and we’re waiting for the response. The objective of the visit is to do community service and bring awareness to the general public about mental health issues affecting women. Let me bring this to light, apart from my music I am advocating for mental health which is cancer in present-day society.

“I believe Women’s Day is a day to commemorate women’s achievements in the patriarchal society. March 8 is a constant reminder that women are equal to their male counterparts in all spheres of life and equal opportunities should be granted to them. Coming from the arts industry in Bulawayo, this day should bring all female artistes together in the fight against abuses happening to women by our male counterparts.

“I think in the coming years we will organise some events in the city as female artistes to spread this gospel,” said Nyati.

Said Novuyo Seagirl: “I celebrated the day by attending the Loziba festival. There’s a need for us to support each other as women so that we are fully balanced. We should also learn to say no and never to eat poison by shay. If it doesn’t give you dignity learn to say no.”

Seagirl said as an artiste who has faced challenges in the sector, she would like to dedicate her hit single Imbokodo to all the women as it is a song that celebrates women in their diversity.

She appealed to their male counterparts in the industry and promoters to give women equal opportunities.

“Our industry is male-dominated so we, females, are always side-lined when it comes to gigs. But I say let’s choose to challenge stereotypes and usher in a culture of celebrating women’s successes.

“We also deserve the spotlight, we deserve to headline big shows and stand equal as men because we also can join the world in making a meaningful change in society as we are capable to do so,” said Seagirl.

Said Qeqe: “Women’s Day for me is a day to acknowledge, recognise challenges and honour women around the world for the contributions we make each day to the society. Our world would mean nothing without women.

“I’m part of the Loziba Festival, an all-female event that’s running throughout the week. It’s through this event that I’m going to celebrate women’s month.”

Pamellah who showed her capacity yesterday by hosting a one-woman show at the Loziba Festival in Gwanda said coming from a small town, getting sponsorship is not a stroll in the park.

“The biggest challenge that I’ve faced as a female artiste is getting genuine sponsorship as most sponsors or promoters are males and it becomes so difficult to get those that genuinely want to help. Three-quarters of them will be targeting to use or take advantage of us.

“It’s either you sleep with them or no help comes your way. I wish we could get female promoters as well who will stand with us as we embark on this journey because, yes we have other hustles, but they are not enough to cater for our living and music careers. Music is demanding and it becomes very difficult to record if you aren’t financially stable,” said Pamellah.

Said Rudo Amor: “Getting the right support system and equal opportunity not based on my gender, but talent has been and remains a challenge.”

Speaking from Dubai, Sandra Ndebele said: “It is a great month and we are lifting the Zimbabwean flag high in a foreign land which is a very good thing for us as women, taking note that it’s a month to celebrate ourselves.” – @mthabisi_mthire

Article Source: The Chronicle

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