Critical conversations and solutions : Zimdancehall Summit review with Changamire Dombo

In a series of follow-up interviews with the organisers of the recently held Zimdancehall Summit and some of the stakeholders on the impact of the conference and some of the key issues raised and tackled we caught up with UK based promoter Sonny Chibuwe who is know in the music circles as Changamire Dombo who was one of the summit organisers. This is what he had to say.


Q: Was the Zimdancehall Summit a success? 

A: In my view, the Zimdancehall Summit was successful, we managed to bring together key stakeholders in the entertainment industry to discuss a myriad of issues within Zimdancehall. This was the 2nd edition, the 1st having been held in 2018.

This year, the summit was held virtually, engagements prior and after the summit were encouraging. Interest has increased greatly, with many people wanting to participate as panelist. Unfortunately, technology could only allow us to accommodate a maximum of six people in each category.

Sonny Chibuwe and Plot Mhako after the 1st Summit in 2018

Q: What are some of your Key takeaways points?

  1. Zimdancehall as a genre keeps growing and evolving. There is anecdotal evidence to support this view. I am not sure if there are any studies out there that support this assertion. However there is need for all stakeholders to keep on working together in a way that contribute to the creation of a formal and viable industry for the benefit of all players.
  2. Many player continue to conduct business informally without the need of applying business principles. This has resulted in a number of conflicts which could not have happened had those involved done things in a more formal way such as having contracts and agreements signed. More education and awareness is needed with regards to music distribution and music royalties.
  3. Changing people’s attitude and the way of doing things can take time and can be a great challenge but it can be done.
  4. Female artists appear to face more challenges compared to their male counterparts such as, recordings, being booked for live performance. This unfortunately is leading to a decline in women participation in the music industry. More support should be availed to female artist in order to make them more competitive.

Q: Whats next? 

A: There is need for running of mini discussions/mini summits through the year and having one main Summit. This will provide conversations so that small progress continue being made through the year.

Zimdancehall Summit does not only want to be enablers of conversation without providing or contributing to some of the proposed solutions. Hence moving forward we will be partnering with different stakeholders to address some of the challenges and limitations identified.


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