National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) Director Nicholas Moyo has asked for internet service providers in Zimbabwe to review their data tariffs downwards for the survival of the arts sector.
With the covid 19 induced lockdown in place across the country since February last year, artists have been exclusively relying on virtual shows to connect with their fans at a time when people are expected to stay safe at the comfort of their homes
High data tariffs may not be a challenge for papular and more established artists as they are being paid for virtual shows on social media accounts such as nash tv and passion Java who more followers. But upcoming and less established are finding it difficult to connect with their audience. They cannot afford te necessary data to Livestream their shows. Even if an artist manages to acquire the data, some of their fans can not, resulting in very low viewership numbers being recorded for the virtual shows. This is coming as a major blow to artists careers leaving them discouraged
Moyo said they are calling for the reduction of data tariffs to make them affordable for everyone.
“The challenge in our country is the cost of consuming artwork digitally. Our data is expensive. I think we’re the most expensive in the region. At this time, it would be good if the internet service providers also come to the party,” said Moyo in his address.
He further called on the service providers to use the same spirit they use to give back to the community to reduce the tariffs.
“It’s good for Econet to go and donate stuff and NetOne to renovate Mpilo, but we also think that these players can contribute to the betterment of our artistes by reducing data tariffs.
Moyo also reiterated the benefits it can bring to the nation at large.
“This will not only benefit artistes but Zimbabweans at large because when they’re depressed, they’ll be knowing that they can find solace in entertainment that’ll be available online, bringing joy to them,” said the director.