Ne-Yo: The Mwanza Effect

Mwanza - Rock City

NE-YO's international grade performance in Mwanza and not Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania, as would have been expected, was another first that may have gone unnoticed.

Tanzania is a multi city economy boasting of five commercial hubs of near comparable size, if not, sophistication, namely: Unguja Zanzibar, Arusha, Mwanza, Mbeya and Dar Es Salaam; more than any other country in East and Central Africa. NE-YO made history by being the first major international act to play a show exclusively in a city that is not the capital city of a country in the region!

With Tanzania’s youth bulge ever expanding, staging NE-YO’s show in Mwanza not only sets a music industry precedence but also and more importantly sets an economic precedence in Tanzania’s efforts to contain unemployment. One critical intervention to curb the negative impact of the youth bulge and the resulting unemployment is to make these other commercial hubs just as ‘aspirational’ as Dar Es Salaam, where the cost of living is so high it makes meaningful employment creation almost impossible. If we can make Mwanza and the other big cities aspirational, this will have the net effect of reducing the cost of creating employment.

This would explain why Jembeka Festival 2016 and its wide array of supporters including Jembe FM, Vodacom, Coca cola, Samsung, TCC and Fastjet was used as the opportunity to launch the #ILOVEROCKCITYMWANZA campaign so that the LOVE for Tanzania may spread everywhere else where Tanzanians are.

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