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'Cool Crooners not loved in Bulawayo'

by Staff reporter
23 May 2018 at 14:52hrs | Views
When Abel Sithole - one of the founders of the renowned jazz outfit Cool Crooners passed on last July - many thought it was the end of the lengthy journey that had been traversed by the group in the cut-throat music industry.

While many notable groups in the country have found it hard to stay afloat after their leaders had fallen, it's not the same blue story with the band that has been in existence for more than two decades.

Band leader George Salimu, alongside his two colleagues Lucky Thodhlana and Timothy Mkandla, have carried on with the work exhibiting that talent that has made them a household name in the country and beyond borders.

Southern News caught up with the Bhulugwe Lami hit makers who bared their souls on their life almost a year after one of their own left them.

According to Salimu, no one can fill the gap left by Sithole as they have continued to perform at live shows a man short.

"It has never been easy to lose one of your experienced members and founder of the band," Salimu says.

"But all the same, life has to go on, we have a duty to entertain the nation and we are doing just that. We are still three and we have not yet recruited anyone to cover the gap. You know, anything can happen so we have to find someone who can be there in case one of us falls sick. We should have a fall-back plan as a band," he said.

Before Sithole passed on, one of his major objections was lack of support for their music by local people.

However, Salimu, while admitting that their music was nowhere near being appreciated by locals, lays the blame on music promoters whom he says have failed to come to the party.

"Here in Bulawayo, we have people who like jazz but the people who are responsible for promoting music are not available. Established as we are, we rarely perform here in Bulawayo despite that the market for jazz music is there," he said.

Emphasising the biblical reference that a prophet is not honoured in his homeland, Salimu sadly said while they have made Harare their second home, they last performed in their home city over a year ago.

"We can't talk of performance here, Bulawayo to us is now more of our bedrooms where we come to sleep and go to work elsewhere. The last time we performed here was a year ago during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) and that was after Oliver Mtukudzi had invited us to be part of his show there," lamented Salimu.

He added: "We go to Harare almost every month because there are people who understand what jazz music is all about and people there like our music. There are people who know that an artist has to be paid after doing his work. The good thing is that we also have Mtukudzi who normally hooks us up during his many shows because he knows our worth music-wise."

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Source - dailynews