Zimbabwean Musicians A Publicist's Worst Nightmare
Zimbabwe is a nation riddled with many problems, economic and political decay, an embarrassing cricket team, far too many bad weaves and wigs being purchased by our women for a nation this small etc etc. But in the last week perhaps one of our biggest problems was brought into the front view for all to see - our supposed entertainment professionals don't know how to behave like, well, professionals.. After their displays it is no wonder that a Jamaican Dancehall artist was once given a slot on Zambezi Magic’s Zim Top Ten countdown show. To quote the great Mbuya Nehanda “hatina maserious” when it comes to the issues of brand representation and professionalism.
The examples to prove my point could fill Acie Lumumba's seized hard drive several times over but just last week two massive examples came to forefront. Firstly we had lady Squanda and her absurd situation with Skimbo. We discussed the issue in detail on this week's podcast but for those that missed it here is an abridged recollection.
Lady Squanda stayed at a lodge, stuff went missing. She denies she took anything
Lodge reported the issue and DJ Fydale - the man who booked her paid for the lost items
Skimbo, who is a comedian with a YouTube news round-up of Zimdancehall happenings spoke on the issue
Squanda didn't appreciate the jokes and went to confront Skimbo about the matter.
She also took the liberty of recording herself travelling to see Skimbo threatening to beat him up before she also recorded herself beating him up and them forcing the comedian to lick her feet
Now I for one am not one to judge. I've been known to be partial to a toe suck or two as long as it is accompanied with a bath in surgical alcohol.
There are however, several issues to address here. Firstly I don't belittle anyone's hustle, Skimbo’s particular brand of “comedy” is not for my tastes but at least the young man is doing something and seems to have generated some form of a following. What is unclear is where Skimbo got the part about stolen underwear as the reported stories regarding the incident speak if missing towels, bed sheets and mugs. I'm assuming that's how he presents his “comedy”?
In response to what could have been a misrepresentation of the facts Lady Squanda then gathered her troop of Dancehall goons or Jews as they call themselves, (I kid you not, they actually call themselves that, no seriously they do) and then made her way to Skimbo’s residence in Zengeza where she confronted him. In what can only be seen as the biggest effort and most successful to self incriminate, Lady Squanda was kind enough to record herself travelling to the his home with goons in hand openly declaring what they were planning on doing. She also recorded herself assaulting the comedian and repeatedly mentioned her name to help remove any doubt of who could be doing this. As far as stupidity goes this has to be one of the most astounding and frankly impressive displays ever.
Now, Zimbabwe may not be the most politically correct nation that is sensitive to issues regarding assault, accountability and human rights but thanks to social media these videos spread far and wide and caused a serious outrage. So serious that Lady Squanda has been dropped from several events including a UK show and Skimbo, for all his mediocre comedy is reaping the full benefits from this ordeal. Since the incident Skimbo was booked to replace Squanda for the UK performance and has been enjoying a massive uptick in notoriety coupled with a media tour.
To add insult to tongue based pedicures Lady Squanda and her manager have officially released “apologies” that do everything but actually apologise. One is a poor attempt at English while the other doesn't have take responsibility and also tries to peddle a new song. I kid you not they really tried to sneak a download link into an official press release. I would like to reiterate that these press releases have not been doctored. I am not trying to be funny because at this juncture the jokes are just writing themselves.
The cherry on top of all this is that Lady Squanda has now skipped the country and is hiding in Botswana while police are investigating the assault claim filed by Skimbo. This is a statement released by Sparks.
“She is waiting for some deals and some of her personal stuff. She will be back in October”
As far as a press and public relations nightmares go this story wouldn't even be taught in school because nobody would believe it could happen. But somehow these people are viewed as professionals. Well I use the term loosely but they are being paid by several promoters to perform so technically I guess they are. Nothing about this incident is redeeming yet we hear stories like this almost every week, the only shocking thing about this story was that it involved a woman as the perpetrator and that she was dumb enough to record and release the video.
In another episode of Zim Artists Lack Lateral Thought Season 2.
We have a rapper who decided to take to Twitter to body shame and insult a woman after very private and sexual videos of her body were released on social media. I won't share the details to spare the victim further persecution but this is what I know thus far -this young lady is quite popular on the tweets and has been described as a cyber bully by some and as a result she has her fair share of enemies. When her video was released there were many residents of Zimbabwean Twitter that celebrated her demise. One of those individuals was the aforementioned “rapper”. I discussed the issue and shared my disgust at those who would celebrate such a gross violation of a woman on this week's podcast.. But what truly appalled me was the body shaming that accompanied it. Once again I have to ask what part of the game is this? Why are you, as a celebrity choosing to involve yourself in this matter ? Do you personally respond to everyone who has teased you online? What message are you sending to your fans? Not once did you discuss the actual crime of revenge porn being the trigger in this instance? How do you feel brands looking to work with you will view your comments?
It seems Zimbabwean entertainment is caught betwixt a people with rocks for brains and hard heads. They say they want to be respected as artists and viewed as professionals but they haven't bothered to build brands that we would like to support