Sexism in the music industry- a reality or fallacy?
If you listen to local music, I am sure you are acquainted with popular female artists such as Ammara Brown, Janet Manyowa, Tamy Moyo, Sandra Ndebele and Hope Masike. These women have consistently had hit records and have both national and international recognition.
However, you may be unaware that these female artists do not represent the whole story, as many women are still in shadows, striving extra hard to get “acceptance”.
Starting a conversation about sexism in music media is not unlike asking someone if they believe the sky is blue: we may all agree that it is a problematic institution in our society, but no one really knows what to do about it.
OyOsNews had the opportunity to have a heart to heart, with a female musician, Melynda ‘Mel C’ Mgazi, who has been striving to get the “glory’ that for a long time has been exclusive to only those in the ‘boys club’.
Mel C is an Afro Pop/ Afro Jazz artist who built up a career on her passion while taking a leaf from legends such as Chioniso Maraire and Whitney Houston. Having put in ten times the talent it still seems like some of these women get only a third of the credit.
“I think women are not taken seriously yet they are talented”, said Mel C.
The songbird also pointed out an interesting side of the story that opens up floodgates of debate,
“I was enlightened by one of Zim’s popular promoters that women do not engage promoters in most of their activities, for example launches and upcoming projects, hence making it harder for promoters to be in the know and add them to big performances”, she added.
Whether the assertion is true or not is a matter for another day, but from the current scene, it is a struggle for some women to be accepted. One is of the view that it takes a lot, for music from female artists to be accepted and recognised for its merit alone and not its source. In most cases we want to look at the female artist but not necessarily hear them. A clear example is of the music and videos by artists such as Kikky BadAss, Vimbai Zimuto and Lady Bee, whereby the less the clothes they have on, is the more views and likes the video will get. It takes a few music revellers to recall the lyrics to some of the songs but they can instantly recall the skimpy clothes they had on.
Not to takeaway anything from these female artists, but these are some of the extents women in the music industry have to resort to just to get bookings from promoters.
It would be unfair to end this article without also giving credit to those that have taken steps to rule out sexism in the industry. One would also want to give reassurance to ambitious new-comers that both men and women, are moving forward towards a gender-neutral future, even if that doesn’t appear to be an immediate reality.