I tried delaying this article and maybe releasing it around twenty something December but I think now it’s good a time seeing that Christmas decorations are up in shops and adverts are all over our antennas. Last year I made a list of five and three of those have been making noise both off and online while the other two did make noise but not as much as I anticipated. Also this year has been graced with controversial lists which (if you ask me) have made more good than harm in the arts fraternity. Here are 10 Zim creatives that I believe are worth following into 2017 and beyond and possibly working with them, feel free to comment below and I will make sure I attend to your comments. Also note that the list is not in any order, all these creatives are worth your time nje next year.
- SkyzMetro Fm
I remember last year all the hype created when SkyzMetro announced operations in Bulawayo but then kept shifting the launch dates until people lost interest. Eventually the radio station launched but some people still aren’t impressed by the progress so far as they are comparing the few months to years and years of other local radio stations. I saw from their Facebook post that they are now operating live from Pioneer House where Radio Dialogue once housed. This is quite the good news and I’m sure by now the radio station has taken the people’s voices into consideration and have a working plan for 2017. Personally I am impressed by their branding and some of their personalities, I’m almost sure 2017 will be a good year for them and us. #BeyondTheSky
- King Kandoro
It’s one thing being a good artist, it’s another totally different and even better thing to be an artist who engages with his/ her audience. I think this is the working formula for Cde Kandoro, I’ve seen it work with Tehn Diamond. What is also unique about him is how he makes most of so little resources and yet still manages to keep us laughing, imagine what he can do with endorsements and more resources? I have a strong feeling (and hope) 2017 be his year, he deserves all the applause for what he has done so far this year. #MadhorofiyaRepublik
- Donna N
I’ve followed Donna since way back when she was still experimenting with different talents; singing, film, theatre, presenting, modelling, etc. Funny enough I can’t seem to decide which she does better than the other since she turns all that she touches to gold. The work that she’s put this year has me convinced that she is actually elevating, I think she’s found a way to coordinate everything and brand it Donna N. Her live performances are also out of this world. Next time you see her video on Facebook or face on a poster be in attendance, if you don’t think she rocked inbox me for your money back (yes I’m that confident in her).
- Tari Mari
Almost impossible to get on Facebook and not see her videos or people talking about her. TariMari is an Afro- Jazz/ soul singer based in Harare with a powerful bluesy voice. She was part of the late Chioniso Maraire’s band as a dancer and vocalist. Her music is an original mix of traditional Zimbabwean, jazz, soul, and funk music. TariMari has so far graced the stages of the Book Cafe’ Pop-ups, Pariah State Avondale, Chez Zandi and Miombo Magic Festival, she released her first Album Kumusha on the 21st of August and it’s a banger of an album. Tariro is still young and has a lot to offer in 2017, for starters listen to her music on sound cloud here.
- Curate Bulawayo
Starting off initially as an online portal to curate and have dialogue with natives in and from Bulawayo, the initiative has since grown to include projects. The account which is run by a different curator each week will see the inception of the Curate Byo Book Club which seeks to dialogue on literature in Zimbabwe and Africa in efforts to write our own (and true) version of the continent and country respectively. The Curate Bulawayo team will also be partnering with other individuals, initiatives, and organizations in the promotion of arts and culture in Bulawayo this coming year. They also run Skies Fusion Arts which is the CurateByo branch that holds functions around the city. If you don’t follow the account do justice, head over to twitter and follow @CuratByo and contact @SaintValz to be added to the Curate Byo Book Club.
- Pineapple Creative Studios
Some of the most talented human beings who can wow you with their well-choreographed dance moves. All we’ve seen so far are their performances and at events and random videos here and there. 2017 should see them opening up social media accounts (esp. YouTube) and showing us how it’s supposed to be. When you see them in music videos and Ads please remember this post and give the author credit lol. Follow @Pineapple_ZW on twitter, you won’t regret it I swear.
- Mosaic Cultural Festival
What these guys managed to do within a short space of time is Ah- Mazing. First we saw tweets and got excited but left room for skepticism and a lil disappointment. Turned out we didn’t need room for that as the festival kicked off not once but twice with positive reviews flowing weeks after each event. 2017 should come with more activity and possibly expansion into other cities considering the experience they gained from the first two. We are always up for a blend of food, fashion, art and some feel good music. Also to watch out for is #BlackMarket which is coming soon according to their social media account. Do best and follow them on twitter: @MosaicZw_
- Karen Paida
You probably know her from the Nafuna Tv episodes as she smiles her way into your hearts. Karen is a Producer and TV host. She showed us that we can reach our dreams no matter how wild or far-fetched they may be when she got to be one of the top 2 finalist for Discovery Networks’ TLC Next Greatest Presenter Search. She has been presenting at some of the big events locally and regionally including the recently ended Miss Tourism Zim and the African Women’s Awards. Recently she explored her comedy side when she did a skit with King Kandoro which is really funny. Follow her on her journey via Facebook and see how BIG dreamers win in life.
- Urban Culxure
Last but not ‘list’ (I hope you gerrit lol) there is Urban Culxure, the online magazine that has been promoting arts and culture in Zimbabwe. If you have been paying attention you will know that they have been elevating from promoting arts and culture in Bulawayo first and now the whole of Zimbabwe. They have got to a point where their social media posts create a lot of much needed dialogue online. I also like how Kuda and Nigel, the co-founders and curators of the magazine are using twitter and Facebook to push conversations that are meant to elevate the arts and culture framework in the country. They seem to be pushing more than just the online magazine but offline too. Their vision is growing with their influence and we hope in 2017 the bigger arts bodies actually support them instead of weighing them down, they are the voice of the youth.
Well this space is for you, had this been a billboard I’d have given it to you for free to advertise your craft. As a creative you should always aim to elevate from the previous years. Challenge yourself to grow and be better, challenge the status quo, add your name and live up to it. There is always space for other creatives in the industry, let’s collaborate beyond borders and push the Zim narrative further.
Also as a major side note: Umthombo iConnect will be launching a creatives’ magazine called Untitled263 early next year that seeks to explore the emerging & established creatives in Zimbabwe. With your support we hope this project will be a success. So this is what we will do: the issue we are issuing in January will be issue zero and based on your comments we will decide whether or not to do issue 1, so your support will go a long way. Do follow us on Instagram and tweet @untitled263. After all is said and done, 2017 should be a good year for Zim creatives. Cheers to 2016.