Not that long ago, music videos were still a bit hard to come by especially in the quality we would come to expect. The dynamics of how artists make videos have changed too. It’s no longer about the artist knowing a homie who knows a homie with a DSLR camera and trying to get an HD video for the lowest cost. Or… waiting for some diaspora-based Zimbabwean to come back with one of those expensive cameras to borrow. I know money always plays a part for any artist and with the situation in Zim, things are harder than they are for an artist from elsewhere… but kudos to our artists who are discovering that their products need to be of a certain standard and music videos are great for visibility especially online and on TV.
We have seen a rise in video directors/producers and quality ones at that. Two of the best music video directors we have, Teekay @DirectorTeekay and Tatenda Jamera @TatendaJamera, have worked with African music powerhouses such as Awilo Longomba, Iyanya, Davido, Maleek Berry, Tiwa Savage etc. Somehow they don’t get enough credit from Zimbos, yet they have been around for years and are industry leaders. They also work together on occasion.
Below are some of the Zim music videos they directed
Tatenda Jamera on ‘Vimbai’ by Charlie Kay
Director Teekay on Check Your Balance by Xavier & King Xoli feat Dotstar
Below are some of their afrobeats music videos they directed:
Director Teekay on Tekno’s hit Diana
Tatenda Jamera on Sean Tizzle’s Igi Orombo feat Tiwa Savage
Locally there is Vusa “Blaqs” Hlatswayo who has directed some of the best videos we have seen out of Zim lately including this masterclass:
Blaqs is clearly well-sought after by artists in Zim and it’s not hard to see why. We also have media houses such as Invision Studios that are handling videos on all fronts including music videos. Now that we have individuals that can produce quality videos, the challenge is exporting our stuff beyond Zim borders to take advantage of the opportunities that exist out there. How do the musicians, their managers and video directors form networks to ensure that their videos are played on continental and international platforms?
The one constant I have seen is comments from fans which seem to suggest that ‘as long as the video is in high definition, it’s a good video’. We need to adopt a more critical approach to how we view music videos as fans so that we challenge artists to produce better quality videos. Let’s look at storylines, relevance, good footage, editing and more. This will push us towards contention on the African market, then eventually international contention. It goes without saying but the likes of Jah Prayzah are streets ahead and the rest are playing catchup.