11 May 2018
. . . Diamond Musica guru speaks on controversies
CONSISTENT rhumba exponent, Pitshou Lumiere – real name Musila Minsiomi – reckons he deserves special recognition for his role in promoting the genre.
The Diamond Musica leader, who has been in the game for a while, says he has found the formula to revive rhumba in Zimbabwe.
The 40-year-old, who concedes the genre’s appeal is low in Zimbabwe, blames it on some promoters he believes wanted rhumba ‘dead’.
In today’s edition, H-Metro grilled Pitshou on a wide range of issues that have been associated with the star along with other rhumba musicians.
These range from the (rhumba) musicians’ penchant love for skin lightening creams, alleged drug abuse, human trafficking, love for women and involvement in crime related syndicates.
Pitshou, who is known for his strong fashion sense, says he has no problems with skin bleaching.
“In Congo, skin bleaching is not an issue at all we just use it like any other lotion, which can make us look good.
“Our forefathers used to apply it and we just took over from them because they have always applied it to look good.
“It only becomes an issue when it is abused otherwise I don’t see any problem with those using skin lightening creams,” said the singer who recently clinched a deal with a local boutique as a brand ambassador.
He however said people should consult first before applying skin lightening creams.
“Like I said earlier on, skin bleaching is done everywhere as far as America, Jamaica, and India and even in other countries.
“In our cases, this has been happening from the time of Mobutu Sese Seko.
“I once stayed in South Africa for years with Indians and they used to apply skin lightening creams which suit their skin.
“In my case, I don’t read much into that because I do what makes me look good.”
Pitshou, who has also become a hit with ladies, says he wins their heart with style.
“Firstly, let me tell you that I am not a womaniser. I only have one woman whom I have been married to since 2002.
“If you see me with a beautiful lady, you should know she will be just a friend.
“In fact, ladies love us (rhumba artistes) because we have the style and we know how to make them happy,” he said.
He also cleared the air on the issue of drug abuse which has been associated with rhumba artistes who have settled in Zimbabwe since the early 90s.
Besides Diamond Musica, which settled in Zimbabwe in the 90s and around the turn of the new century, New Stars Musica and Bana Des As are some of the groups to have settled in the country accused of fuelling crime.
“I haven’t heard about us (rhumba artistes) abusing drugs in any way. If there are some (rhumba artises) here doing that, they should stop it forthwith, it’s really bad.
“Of course we drink beer but we don’t abuse drugs.”
Unlike most Congolese artistes who have been associated with human trafficking activities where victims are usually taken as band members, Pitishou said his hands are clean.
“In my case, I always want to do the right thing, I don’t what to be associated with crime.
“I have never wanted to be caught on the wrong side of the law. If I was a criminal, I could have been jailed and I will always stay away from criminal activities.”
Despite the harsh economic conditions hurting the industry, Pitshou says he would never throw in the towel.
“For the record, I am the only rhumba artistes who is doing something tangible in Zimbabwe.
“This is why you see that I am the only one holding shows every week in the capital.
“I recently won a slot at Food Nest (at LongCheng Plaza) where I play on Fridays and that shows that people have faith in my brand.
“Those who frequent our shows we call them patrons and that’s why you will see that Food Nest is always packed on Fridays,” said the singer.
“Some of our patrons are foreigners from countries such as Nigeria, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana and my native country.
“Locals have also endorsed us and this alone shows us we are doing something good.”
Quizzed whether he was doubling as an agent for promoters who bring rhumba artistes to Zimbabwe, he said:
“I wouldn’t call myself an agent but I always make sure those who bring rhumba artistes should engage us as well.
“For instance when Koffi Olomide came for the carnival, we were also recognized.
“As for Werrason, I am the one who brokered the deal with ZTA and a local promoter.
“However, I wouldn’t call myself a promoter per se but I just play my part where I can.
“In the case of Fally Ipupa who is coming to perform at HICC on the 26th of May, I was invited by Ginimbi to take part in the show.
“I was not involved here and I just feel good to be part of the line-up performing alongside Fally Ipupa, Tuku and Juntal.”
As Pitshou is desperate to revive rhumba, he believes there are saboteurs who want to destroy his efforts.
“I have done my best but it should be mentioned that there are some promoters who want to see rhumba dead.
“I cannot disclose their names but you should be aware that there is politics in showbiz.
FUTURE OF RHUMBA
On a parting shot, Pitshou predicts a bright future in this genre.
“The future is still bright but we need various stakeholders to come together and save this genre.
“Rhumba is purely African sound which defines us as a continent and we cannot afford to ignore that fact.
“I urge people to shelve their differences for the good of the genre.
“Locally, I have taken the full responsibility and that’s why you see that I always engage local artistes in whatever I do.
“I have done a number of collaborations with locals and most recently new one with Tuku called Bhutsu as we seek to revive the genre.”