Govt plans to re-introduce music galas to avert violent protests

Perturbed by growing urban youth anger, which played out in public during the fuel riots across most urban centres recently, Government plans to reintroduce all night musical galas in an effort to pacify the increasingly restless demographic, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba has said.

In live radio interview last Wednesday , Charamba who is also Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet said Government intends to reintroduce the galas as a means of creating employment in the arts sector for young people.

In the no holds bars interview with  Capitalk FM’s Penny Pangeti, Charamba said authorities will mobilise resources urgently for the galas.

At the height of the post 2000 economic meltdown, Government introduced musical galas, which were seen as an effort to appease a restless urban populace which bore the brunt of the economic malaise.

Yesteryear musicians such as Born Free Crew and Tambaoga  of the ‘Blair That I know Is a Toilet’ were permanent fixtures at the events, which were broadcast live on national television.

However, when the political narrative changed, Tambaoga (real name Last Chiangwa )’s music career had its last breath and the  epitaph on his musical grave faded to obscurity.

The galas were also a boon for the urban grooves artists who were struggling to enter into the mainstream music business.

Names that easily come to mind include Roki, Ex-Q, Sniper,David Chifunyise, Nesto,Mafriq  Maskiri and Sandra Ndebele who got more fame for her gyrating dancing skills rather than music prowess!

At this stage, the Jah Prayzahs of this world probably never dreamt that they will be stars while the Jah Signals were toddlers.

Charamba, who claims to have grew up in the ghetto, said his heart bleeds for talented ghetto youths who lack exposure.

Said Charamba:

“I get hurt a lot when I see the youths in places like Matapi in Mbare who are running music studios there; I am a musical fan (and) I follow those youngsters.

“Of course we do not have resources; (but) do you remember there was a time when we staged musical galas.

“That was not really to just enjoy music it was to provide employment opportunities, to provide incomes to the young generation.

“We need to get back to that; the money will have to be found.

“We have to get programmes that are targeted at youths because that is the category of people who are hit hardest by the (current economic) conditions; they are unemployed, they have no income, they have no homes, which means their survival is quite precarious.

“And then they vent it out in anger resulting in those things that we saw happening some two weeks back; regrettable but maybe understandable.

“So, there has to be a purposeful approach where we can establish how we ensure that as we recover and grow that recovery and growth will be inclusive and more particularly that it encompasses the young generation that is hardest hit by the social conditions that are obtaining in the country.