MUSIC management and marketing company, Jive Zimbabwe has succeeded in bridging the gap and strengthen relationships between artistes and music promoters by bringing them together off the stage under one roof to mix and mingle with businesspeople and entrepreneurs through an outdoor monthly concert dubbed One Big Party.
By Winstone Antonio
The concept is also uniting showbiz stakeholders with their fans, as they celebrate their birthdays, anniversaries, awards, major appointments and recognition under one roof.
NewsDay Life & Style reporter, Winstone Antonio (ND), caught up with the visionary behind the concept and Jive Zimbabwe executive director, Benjamin Nyandoro (BN) who spoke on related arts issues.
Below are snippets from the interview.
ND: How did you come up with the One Big Party idea?
BN: I don’t know, these things come naturally, it is all about observing the gaps and thinking about how to close them.
One Big Party is inspired by celebrations.
We all have that one thing every month that is worth celebrating.
It is more fun if we all come together to One Big Party and celebrate all that makes us go.
A cloud of happiness in one place.
How is that?
ND: How has the response been and is the concept serving its purpose?
BN: The response is growing.
It was never about numbers; happiness is the measure of success.
Many never get this right.
ND: There have been so many concepts on the showbiz scene, but they have faded away, how are you going to make this one last?
BN: This one will run and sustain itself.
Inasmuch as it is a Jive initiative, its success and continuity lies in all the milestones that deserve a One Big Party.
ND: You are part of Jive Zimbabwe, what is the inspiration behind Jive Zimbabwe?
BN: I tussle over this one with personnel at Jive.
It was never a profit making entity, it is a passion.
I find satisfaction in seeing local arts develop and grow into businesses.
Jah Prayzah is a clear success story that has grown bigger than the idea.
I wish him more than well. He is a living testimony of my drive.
ND: Among your objectives is to enhance local music consumption in Zimbabwe and beyond, are you winning?
BN: I am, both directly and indirectly.
More value is when you achieve indirectly.
That is impact.
You can see the growing redirection from using foreign acts to locals for promotion of products and services by corporates.
I commend that they continue supporting and developing local arts.
ND: You are also involved in artistes’ management, who are some of the artistes signed under Jive Zimbabwe?
BN: Now it is easier to mention those who are not signed up with Jive.
Our packages involve marketing and distribution.
Jive is the content partner of choice for all mobile network operators in Zimbabwe.
We are working on spreading into Sadc, Africa and beyond.
As you may notice that we have rebranded to Jive.
We are going international.
ND: At one point, you were Soul Jah Love’s manager, what led to the collapse of the deal?
BN: It was a sad development.
I suppose he is, just like many other artists, a victim of bad deals.
I am not in that basket.
In the process, he lost a good soul. I wish him well.
ND: What is your take on claims that there are only a few artistes’ managers in Zimbabwe, with the majority labelled as booking agents?
BN: Artiste management locally has been reduced to that, I do concur, but management entails a lot of components such as, marketing, specifically promotion and public relations.
There is need for having a competitive edge in this saturated market.
The power of unique ideas and new concepts kick in.
ND: With the emergence of new media and communication technologies, how has Jive Zimbabwe embraced these for the development of the arts sector?
BN: This is our strength actually.
We run active digital platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, among others, that promote local arts.
Watch the space for an alternative platform that provides alternative television for arts.
Jive runs on innovation.
ND: You launched an online music store that allows artistes to create a user interface, upload music and monitor downloads, filling a gap created by the demise of traditional recording music production and distribution companies, how has this been embraced by local artistes?
BN: I have done and seen it all.
It is a learning curve, I am actually working on a mobile app that responds to many concerns raised by both the market and artists.
It is going live end of July.
ND: After the October 2 concert dubbed Celebrate Local that was a huge flop, are you still hosting live gigs as Jive Zimbabwe?
BN: (Laughs) October 2, made Jive stronger.
We are involved in live gigs.
Our strength, however, is in the use of digital platforms to promote local arts.
Jive assists fellow promoters to host successful events.
We believe in healthy competition.
ND: What is your take on the state of the local entertainment sector.
BN: It is affected by the economy.
Entertainment is regarded as a luxury when the economy is not performing well.
So, yah, entertainment is on its knees. Hopefully, we will be back in the game soon.