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Drugs, a comfort zone for musicians

by Rosalia David

The spot light of the music industry comes with lucrative gigs, crazy fans and for some local artists it has also dragged in drug abuse.

There are also whispers that artist fall into the trap because there is a belief that some drugs heighten creativity and that being under any influence means creating masterpieces.

This has not been the case for many artists who have fallen from grace or become one hit wonders because of substance abuse.

This week Vibe spoke to a few industry gurus who have managed and still manage local musicians and this is what they had to say.

Robert Shipanga who has left some footprints in the entertainment industry after jump starting Mushe and Exits’ music career said that musicians easily have access to drugs because they have the financial means and associate with dealers.

“Money is the cause, because it comes too quick for them and the thing is, athletes, celebrities or musicians, public figures in general still go through peer pressure where they are followed by people who fan them and convinces them to try out certain practises,” he explained.

He further advises celebrities to be themselves and not try to fit in at all times saying that “the feeling is a temporally thing” but has long run effects.

“People need to understand that you will not be famous forever, drugs messed up a lot of people. But on the other hand, organisers don’t pay artists enough so these guys are frustrated about paying the bills so they tend to hide their frustrations behind the high feeling,” he explained.

Dragan Djokic popularly known as Antonio who has also been around for some time running a record label named Deal Done Records told Vibe that drug abuse amongst musicians is becoming a trend now saying that “It’s becoming too much.”

“Something needs to be done, people need to understand that musicians are also part of society, some wants to go to rehab but there is no money to pay for that. I don’t know who, but someone need to do something,” he stressed.

Anxious about the future of upcoming artists, Antonio urges them to stay away from drugs as they have destroyed many lives locally and internationally.

Although many have justified the use of drugs over the years, reports of international musicians overdosing have been increasing.

Meanwhile, founder of CH Growth Advertising and former artists manager Zenao Angula came out to say that local celebrities go through a lot of challenges such as criticism and therefore they turn to the use of drugs as they are forced not to be themselves.

“First of all being a celebrity you are judged to a point where you are supposed to be a certain person because whatever move you do, you get criticised or judged. Stories are fabricated. They don’t have anyone to trust and just open up to,” she noted.

Side-lining the reasons for drug abuse, Zenao advised local celebrities to leave a good legacy behind that could plant a sense of pride amongst those who are related to them.