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Why Zimdancehall Musicians Are Short Lived?

By Branton Matondo

When one talks of Zimdancehall you will surely think of the hero chanter (MHSRIP) Soul Jah Love, HKD CEO Freeman, Yalanation top man Seh Calaz, the ever vigilant Winky D or Chairman Killer T but have you ever noticed how multitudes of zimdancehall artists tend to register short and precise careers.


Music fanatics have for long called Zimdancehall bubblegum music, it’s their opinion. Note, l am not against this high sounding and ghetto child  because l am also a strong lover of the genre but my concern is on that exact and fast best before tag.


There are many reasons which cause a Zimdancehall artist to come in today and exit tomorrow.

Drug abuse is one of those factors which should be notified without a doubt.


The abnormal outrage of gukamakafela, mutoriro, glue, cuba and your usual marijuana or what others would like to call weed seem to have haunted many Zimdancehall careers.


The more and more you take in some of these street haunting drugs it’s pretty obvious that your career will be in awful jeopardy.


Yes, zimdancehall artists idolize weed and in most cases gukamakafela in their rhythmic lyrics.


It’s okay, they are preaching the ghetto happenings and ghetto gospel but for an artist to consume these body strikers consistently, day in day out or on an hourly basis it’s not only a tombstone to your career but to your life.

Though excessive drug consumption seems to be one of those mind aching factors, we also have to find time to call upon our second candidate, copycats. Have you ever noticed that Zimdancehall artists, especially those from the upcoming pool sing and chant tunes familiar in all respects to those of Zimdancehall godfathers.


Being unique is very important, that’s a music principle and everyone knows that.


It’s of no avail if you continue copying Chibaba or copying Rugare bred Tocky Vibes or 2018 NAMA award winner Enzo Ishall. What more are you rather than a clone, a mere shadow of a dominant force, a fake replica, a boring side of the original, a zhing zhang, l can go on and on and on. If you lay your career on a copying ground be prepared to exit fast.


Many Zimdancehall artists have become successful not because they have better studios or because they have fat pockets or good music gear but because they registered a unique sound, character and vibe.


So far I have detailed on two major career challengers and the third one is equally important and surprisingly destructive to many artists.


Abuse of zimdancehall is my third point of departure. Have you ever listened to an artists and you just feel like they are passing time? I have come across such artists and if you haven’t do not worry because soon you will join me.


When Dadza D, Guspy Warrior, Winky D and Sniper Storm initially pushed the Zimbabwean version of dancehall it was a new and fresh sound different from the popular urban groove.


It was a Zimbabwean genre which was later on supported and embraced by Jamaican sensations like Turbulence and Luciano.


It was a genre which was meant to bring back memories of the 1980 performance at Rufaro Stadium by the gong master, bloodclat turn artist Bob Marley.


It was created to with a meaning and purpose but now zimdancehall is full of leisure artists. Artists who just take the genre for fun. Artists who just gather around, light up some weed and start to crack high on meaningless freestyles. It’s high time upcoming shines alongside seriousness.

No wonder why some artists spend a decade, still being called “upcoming”.


It seems as if l have exhausted most of the reasoning behind this topic but the finishing one is equally important. Fake studios and producers have now infested zimdancehall.


They are now neck and neck with tuckshops when it comes to numerics. All hail the vultures of our musical era, the fake producers and their fake convincing chants, “Huya ne 5 mari chete, tokusotera ngoma.”

How can a career prosper while it’s legs are laying on fake ground? What more can you expect from an economically stranded fella who just happens to have stumbled on poor studio equipment with no music production history or any experience to talk. Ladies and gentlemen making music takes courage, effort and resources.


There is nothing wrong with Zimdancehall but the system is vile.