TODAY we are celebrating another of Zimbabawe’s illustrious musical sons — Thabani Ndlovu, aka Buffalo Soldier — who has just recently bagged a sixth Channel O Music award for most gifted reggae dancehall, beating out Basawine Orezi (Nigeria), Patoranking (Nigeria) and Shatta Wale (Ghana) in the category.
He has 12 nominations over the past 10 years!
To celebrate his win, Buffalo Soldier wrote on his Facebook page: “I did it for every ghetto youth out de, most of all my youths in my hood Mufakose.
Not onli did I make it outa Mufakose, Harare, Zimbabwe or South Africa, but Africa as a whole n al it took was a chicken bus trip to South Africa.
“God bless my mum for the bus fare. The rest was self hustle, sleeping in the streets at night from Hillbrow to Yeoville hustlin’ club to club for gigs n hataz stil have the audacity to tok s**t. To al ma ghetto youths get up and go, you can hustle yo way to Nigeria the United Kingdom, the United States and be the next Tinashe. Anything is possible as long as you put God first, can I get an Amen . . . (sic).”
Raising the flag
The Mufakose-born Buffalo Soldier, like Audius Mtawarira in Australia, is raising the country’s flag while lesser talented local artistes continue to hog the spotlight on the rigged local stage.
I say rigged because the distribution of airplay is mystically skewed in a certain direction.
For example, hands up those who know of any of his songs? Radio airplay is seriously begging for the decorated young artiste. Local radio is ignoring the music generally speaking.
One would expect the local stations would be helping this young prince of music by placing the award-winning music on heavy rotation. No it’s not happening. Are we serious about exporting local product?
You tell me!
“Dear Mr President, all I ask for is a little bit of acknowledgement for putting my country on the map and waving my flag high among other African countries,”wrote Buffalo Soldier on his Facebook wall following his win.
“For the last 10 years now, I have been the only Zimbabwean nominated 12 times on the Channel O African Awards and won it six times.”
Apparently he feels that his win was momentous enough to deserve some kind of presidential recognition. He submits that the likes of Kirsty Coventry and Munya Chidzonga have been recognised for raising their country’s profiles.
I have to agree with him. Maybe it will happen for him too. Maybe the timing of his win is bad all considered!
An investigation into radio stations.
I have said it before, an investigation and intervention now needs to be instituted into how local radio stations decide or dictate matters of taste to their audiences.
The so-called listening committees are manned by who exactly?
I once asked a certain person how they decide what gets played on air and all I got was a grunt, a mumble and obfuscation. Something is fishy.
How do they make the leap for example to fetch the music of Tinashe (of the Get On and Pretend fame) all the way in the United States and not just look across the Limpopo to fetch Buffalo Soldier’s music and popularise it with the same verve and religious zeal?
How commercial are they if they can ignore music by the likes of Buffalo Soldier which obviously appeals to a certain demographic which watches this African channel?
There doesn’t appear to be a science or method to the conduct of the local radio stations.
It all appears arbitrary from where I stand. What interest is there in these people not showcasing award-winning Zimbabwean artistes?
A place of musicians and footballers
The name Mufakose literally translated means die in every sense. Its Bulawayo equivalent may well be Nguboyenja and Makokoba.
Mufakose is the name of a ghetto in Harare that is famous among other things for spawning the Bhundu Boys and for being one of the favourite haunts of the late great Safirio Madzikatire and Thomas Mapfumo.
It has two famous venues — the Rutendo Hall and Gwenyambira Beerhall. These places, owned by the local authority, played host to some of Zimbabwe’s most illustrious musicians and groups from the ’60s through to the ’90s.
I distinctly remember consummate showman Madzikatire and his Sea Cottage Sisters staging massively attended shows in these places.
For a season, if one was a musician worth his salt, one had to conquer Rutendo Hall!
Mufakose is also a place of soccer legends alive and late including Joel Shambo, Stanley Ndunduma, Archiford Chimutanda, Moses Chunga and his brothers.
Businessman Philip Chiyangwa used to frequent the area as Captain Fiasco with his disco. So there you are, Mufakose has that history.
Zimbo actress lands Hollywood role
Chipo Chung is, if I am not mistaken, the daughter of former Zimbabwean ministers Fay Chung and Rugare Gumbo!
Her famous parents aside, Chipo has just landed a role in a television series called AD based on the post crucifixion era of Christ.
It tackles the aftermath of Christ’s death and its effect on his disciples, Mary and the influential political and religious order of the day. Chung plays the role of Mary Magdalene.
Her co-stars are Argentinean actor Juan Pablo di Pace who portrays Jesus Christ and Gambian Babou Ceesay portraying John.
The Yale-educated Chipo was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, during our country’s armed struggle.
She cut her acting teeth with theatre company Over the Edge alongside the likes of Zane Lucas back in the day before moving to the United States at 18.
Now armed with a double major in Theatre and Fine Art, she has snapped up roles on various British television shows such as Dr Who and Proof. The upcoming series will premiere on Sunday April 5 2015 on Easter Sunday.
“It’s another worldly experience playing characters that are symbols that carry so much meaning for so many,” wrote Chipo on her Facebook timeline.
“Humbling to be playing Mary the enigmatic Magdalene.”
Young fashion designer Penelope Lasha makes waves
Locally, I had a sit down with 21-year-old Penelope Lasha, a second year fashion design student at the Bulawayo Polytechnic, who is beginning to turn heads with her stunning designs.
Recently, she was part of the contingent of design students who staged an exhibition as part of their course requirements.
In the aftermath of that show, she got another gig at the Intwasa Xtra fashion show held last Saturday night at the Hope Centre along Leopold Takawira Avenue.
The multi-racial audience absolutely loved her Rexene and suiting based creations which she themed “Count Post Gladiator”.
“Count as in Count Dracula and Gladiator as in the Roman gladiator . . .” she explained.
The young Miss Lasha is diminutive in stature with large eyes. Her head carries spikey dreadlocked hair. She looks like the archetypical artiste.
Lasha is a name you will be reading about in the future. It is Tumbuka in origin. Tumbuka is a Malawian dialect.
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