By Keith Mlauzi
Renowned videographer Vusa ‘Blaqs’ Hlatshwayo, who has been blamed by some local artistes for not delivering their music videos yet he would have been paid to produce them, says artistes need to learn to look beyond their pockets and work harder.
The latest to express her disgruntlement is Novuyo Seagirl of the AEIOU hit who said she is still waiting for Blaqs to record her video which she paid for last year, or refund her. According to Seagirl, Blaqs keeps giving excuses.
However, the videographer, who won the Outstanding Video Director of the Year award at the Namas for Jah Prayzah’s Dzamutsana video, seemed to suggest that he prioritises clients who pay more as his services do not come cheap.
In an interview this week, Blaqs said if local artistes want to have top quality music videos that will match international standards (which he produces), they need to stop whining and put in more money.
“Zimbabwean artistes cry a lot but do not put in much work into their projects. The problem is artistes are not willing to sacrifice and they don’t take their time when making videos.
“They always want to do it at a fast pace and at the end of the day, they produce low quality videos which will not go beyond the borders of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Blaqs said most local content is being sidelined by international channels such as Trace Africa and Mtv Base because of its poor quality.
“A lot of Zimbabwean videos are cheap and these channels (international) do not want cheap content,” he said.
Blaqs said if Zimbabwean artistes really want to go international, they must learn to look beyond their pockets and sacrifice while urging them to take a leaf from Nigerians who he said are ready to give it all for music.
“Nigerians are willing to give it all for music and I wish I could say the same for Zimbabwean artistes. Some of my colleagues in Nigeria charge a minimum of USD10 000 for a standard video but no Zimbabwean artiste can sacrifice so much for a video,” he added.
According to Blaqs, only three local artistes are ripe for the international stage.
“For me, Zimbabwe has only three artistes that are ripe for the international audience — that is Jah Prayzah, ExQ and Ammara Brown,” he said.
Blaqs, who is one of the best videographers in Zimbabwe, has produced some of the finest videos that have won awards.
He is the man behind Jah Prayzah’s Chikomo video which is trending online as well as most of ExQ’s videos such as Bhachura. The Chronicle