Perhaps the allure to share the stage with some of the biggest names in the region is huge and irresistible that some local up-and-coming artists have decided to cheat their way on the Nyasa Music Festival platform.
In their quest to help promote and expose young talent, organisers of the April 19-21 inaugural festival, Nyasa Music Group, introduced a competition where up-and-coming artists were asked to submit their recorded work to stand a chance of performing at the festival.
Procedure demanded that the top three artists, from a shortlist of 10, who will get the most comments and likes through a competition to be conducted on their Facebook page will be picked.
Quite a fair chance. It is not every day that you get to rub shoulders with big names in music such as Busiswa, AKA and Nasty C from South Africa and our own Gwamba, Fredokiss, Faith Mussa, Patience Namadingo and others.
This opportunity has proved to be too good to be missed by some local artists who entered the competition to an extent that they have devised means to manipulate the voting system to enable themselves to get multiple auto-likes on their work.
It was sad when, inside the week, the organisers announced the disqualification of two artists answering to the names of Silk Boi and Mickie Platinums who were discovered to be using means other than the accepted ones to get votes.
The Nyasa Music Group meant well in creating an opportunity for the local up-and-coming artists to perform on such a stage. They said they wanted to promote the raw talent that is yet to receive any recognition, let alone get a chance to perform at any big stage.
For long, there have been cries from many young artists in the country that they are left out when it comes to big events such as the Nyasa Music Festival. Here was almost a direct response to address such murmurs.
Unfortunately, due to so many logistical arrangements, the organisers cannot just open the door to anyone who raises a hand expressing his/her interest to be part of the cast. It was, therefore, only proper that those who felt had it, had to earn their spot.
And to erase any suspicions of favouritism and bias, the process was left in the hands of the public. It is their judgement, through their votes, that would earn those shortlisted a space to perform at the festival. A fair deal from this end.
It is such a shame that some in their wisdom decided to invest their efforts in trying to circumvent the process to earn themselves auto-likes. Only if they could have spared their energy in sharpening their art and skills.
An opportunity such as this one is not the first and last to come their way. If they were to be left out now because of lack of quality of their work, certainly after refreshing their art, someday they could have caught the attention of someone. Elsewhere shortcuts have never helped anyone. More so in this field. If you do not have it in your veins, then it is not your craft.
And just where is one’s pride when you cheat your way to the top when inwardly you know there were many deserving souls who did a much better job than yourself? Understandably everyone yearns for the big opportunities but let us strive to get them on merit.
The Nyasa Music Group must be commended for doing their best in making sure the process of choosing the top three acts is as fair as possible. And their belief in promoting only those artists who are willing to put work in their craft and not shortcuts is one we should all emulate. n