In developed countries whose music industries are lucrative businesses, song writing is a career that can put food on the table and pay the bills.
By Mukundi Masinire
For example singer/ song writers as Ne-yo, jessie J, Ed Sheran, Lenny Kravitz to mention but a few are living big through penning songs.
Sadly in Zimbabwe it is not so, considering that the music industry is more or less dead with only a few musicians living out of their art.
As a result of the challenges facing the industry one Chitungwiza based song writer Fred Nyakudanga says in order to stay relevant he has also ventured into singing and dancing.
Expressing disenchantment at the status quo Nyakudanga accounts that it is imperative for musicians and other stakeholders to take song writing as a business if the country`s music industry is to grow.
“Song writing is a business in thriving economies or developed countries; here artists do not pay.
“They do not value song writing and I feel this is an anomaly that needs to be corrected with urgency if our industry is to grow,” he said
Nyakudanga who is 42 years old says he is so passionate about song writing that he pens songs for other musicians, both established and upcoming -just for the fun of it.
He wrote two songs on Diamond Musica`s 2013 album called Amai.
“From a tender age I appreciated poetry and that has helped me to write my songs and those for other musicians.
“On Selmor Mutukudzi’s current album I wrote a song with her called Mwana Asingacheme.
“I am good at writing and in order to stay relevant I have also become a singer and a dancer at the same time,” he said.
Fred Nyakudanga is the band leader of an Afro-fusion outfit called Angwa Combo which has members such as Julius Julius and legendary guitarist Pichu Bolambo.
He began his musical journey in 2001 when he was encouraged by his uncle Fungai Chinomona, and Kenny Neshamba- former percussionist and vocalist for the living legend Oliver Mutukudzi.
In 2013 he worked with Savannah Arts Centre to produce a marimba album called Marimba I Ngoma.
Having gained confidence and experience Nyakudanga engaged Diamond Studios and recorded his first solo project in 2015 called Ngativimbike.
Currently he is about to release his 9 track second project called Simba Rehove which has songs such as Amai, Whatsapp, Basa Rapera, to mention but a few.