“It’s Hard To Become A Star in Zimbabwe” – 8L Speaks

By Blessed Zikhali (8L)

ITS HARD TO BECOME A STAR IN ZIMBABWE. It’s a big struggle IN CAPITAL LETTERS. You are not oblivious to the Tuku struggle, am told big guy has more than 30 albums before he was “appreciated”. Critically its hard to be a star anywhere in the world but Zimbabwe is even harder.

Who makes a STAR? It is a combination a different factors coming into play. It’s the artists him/herself: Your music, its appeal, how you market it and how aggressive you are to win fans.

The Fans: how they support your music besides listening , do they come to shows etc…

Marketing: Your presents in the entertainment arena, are you consistently heard? Do you go beyond putting out CDs etc.

Consistency:  Very important in Zim, we are a busy people and can easily forget you, so like Tuku you need to keep tickling that guitar string until we eventually climax! …and this may take even DECADES! So in the bigger pic is that you need to invest strong money, energy, patience and more creativenesses to keep us entertained until we say, “hoooo, wakapenga!” (you are now dope).


So you see how much an artist has invested and this ladies and gents creates “expectations, entitlements and sometimes leads to autocracy” on the part of the artist and there will not expect to share that throne with someone who came yesterday. It might look selfish but if you look deep its HARD WORK and FRUSTRATION OUT THERE. Artists are abandoned by promoters in foreign land, no hotel, no money, no food, several albums flop and fans forget you and you gat a family to feed. They don’t give up, they soldier on and when FINALLY FAMOUS don’t expect them to hand over to you like that.

I say so because I have tested the waters and sometimes l feel like giving up! I wanted to collaborate with a foregin artist and just getting his management contacts since 2 months before he came, to him being here and until now promoters shut me off. I had to briefly meet him at Meikles hotel but couldn’t even discuss anything beyond “hey wsup, will be in-touch with you”. Imagine all l wanted was the correct Management contacts coz the internet has many fake accounts but we failed coz this is Zim, you DON’T GET IT EASY! I called promoters, tried to set meetings just to get a number and they say we don’t have the info, I never wanted anything other than a contact number so we discuss feature fees and logistics but nothing.


I always tell my friends that “If your dissertation is being supervised by a Professor who took 20years to earn a PhD then be prepared to suffer my nigga” coz they EARNED IT THROUGH BLOOD and SWEAT and they will therefore MAKE SURE YOU ALSO SWEAT and BLEED for it! BUT….there are also merits of being star in Zimbabwe, we are a more of a conservative society therefore once you make it you can EAT Off that for a number of years even without one hit, yunno who hasn’t made a hit in years but still is said to be HipHop star, gets shows, gets media attention etc. It’s the beginning that hurts but there is equally some fruits to reap once you are there. End of the day we need to help each other, big and upcoming stars we need a united force, Big stars need to invest more so they help the upcoming, project like Pakare paye will make Tuku leave the stage for younger guys but if bigger stars don’t invest they will find themselves wrestling the mics with the teenage artists becoz Love it or Hate it, upcoming stars are gunning for that spot and some are ready to use unorthodox means to get that spot! My name is 8L, am an artist too.
BUILDING THE BLOCK: Its been a minute since my last article. I promised POTAR that I was going to tackle a topic: WHY STARS AINT READY TO SHARE THEIR SPOT WITH NEW ARTISTS?

You can view 8L’s latest video here:

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