Afro-Jazz ace Jeys Marabini has lambasted the government, describing it as the “major Mafia”, for hindering the growth of artistes in Bulawayo, as they were often side-stepped.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Eziko Theatre Laboratory session hosted by Victory Siyanqoba on Debunking Mafia Fallacies, Marabini said opportunities given to artistes in different regions were not equal.
“The opportunities that are given to artistes in the country are not equal. There is bias. Artistes from Bulawayo are equally good like those from Harare, but everything is happening on one side. I will stick especially on the side of tribalism, it is something that is there and it needs to be corrected,” he said.
“We, as artistes, at times are like prophets because we deal with people every day, socialise with them all the time and we hear their comments during our performances. People are talking and it (tribalism) is something that is there.”
Marabini said since there was now a new political dispensation in the country, it was now the right time to resolve the sticky issues of tribalism in the arts.
“It should start from the arts industry by treating each other equally. There should not be a boundary that this musician is from Matabeleland or Mashonaland. People follow what the government is doing. We should create a country with people who are united and working together,” he said.
The musician recalled an incident during which he travelled with his band to play during President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration in Harare and they were dressed down by the crowd.
“People take it as minor thing that I was booed, thrown stuff at and chased from the stage because I am from Matabeleland. That is wrong. This is what I am talking about that the government is a Mafia, repressing people,” he said.
Marabini’s sentiments came in the wake of a social media outburst by comedian Carl Joshua Ncube that there was an eight-member “Mafia” killing the arts industry by repressing Bulawayo artistes.