SHOWBIZ is one area never short of intriguing debates and comparisons.
Such tension-filled comparisons often trigger both fun and fury, if not properly handled.
In extreme cases, such debates have fuelled factional fights on social media, as well as physical confrontations, among fans.
Loyalty is the cause of these debates as fans demand bragging rights.
The same debates are sparked by stars who want the “man/woman-of-the-moment” tag.
In music, unquestionably the most followed art genre in Zimbabwe, comparisons have always been there on who rules the roost.
This happens when two superstars or more trade lyrical shots in the form of “disses”, which divide opinion.
Who still remembers the Oliver Mtukudzi-Thomas Mapfumo comparisons?
The “sungura” war, which pitted the late Tongai Moyo and living legend Alick Macheso?
In recent years, the Stunner-Mudiwa debate dominated the Zim Hip Hop landscape.
At the height of Zimdancehall, the Seh Calaz-Soul Jah Love comparison made headlines.
Across the Limpopo, we had the Peter Teanet and Penny Penny comparison, which is believed to have claimed lives. Back home, the hot Jah Prayzah-Winky D debate is raging.
It was reignited over the weekend at the Redefined Show held at the Harare International Conference (HICC).
The pair has sent social media into overdrive as fans are still debating about who nailed it.
Winky D, who has never disappointed at HICC, easily won the debate.
However, Jah Prayzah’s die-hard fans are still fighting in his corner.
Some music promoters and arts critics said the debate was unnecessary as unity was needed.
Neutrals concurred the debate and comparisons were necessary and part of showbiz. These debates have always made the showbiz landscape enjoyable.
However, these comparisons have the potential to turn bloody.
The showbiz sector gets interesting when refreshing comparisons are taking place.
They are healthy for the success of the artists to remain on top of the game.
Without comparisons, our artists’ creative edge is as good as dead.
Artists need these comparisons to ensure they don’t sit on their laurels.
This could be the reason why some international stars have remained in the limelight for years.
Back home, Macheso, who used to be compared to Dhewa, would not sleep on duty. It can be debated that Macheso’s lyrical depth dwindled with the passing on of Dhewa, who used to push him to go the extra mile.
Comparisons and competition have made the showbiz landscape viable. And, those who are fuelling these comparisons, remain key stakeholders in showbiz where brand visibility is very important.
Relevance is needed in this sector where pretenders have either fallen by the way side or are reeling in the showbiz cemetery.
Why should artistes not be compared when we can compare football clubs and football players that this one is better than the other?
Why should we not compare them when the awards ceremonies are about comparison and an artiste, like Nutty O, was dubbed the best last year?
As long as people don’t get personal, it’s a healthy debate and the artists themselves know that.