I hope I find you well and trust you have started this year of our Lord 2020 very well. You have been on my mind for a while now and I have decided to pen this letter to you. I could have put it in your inbox but decided to write it openly so that all of us can draw some lessons from how I have personally interpreted some of the key events in your musical journey in the just-ended year.
By Marshall Shonhai
The Year 2019 will go down as one difficult year for us Zimbabweans but I would like to believe for you as Enzo I Shall the artiste, 2019 has to have been a very forgettable year.
Having closed 2018 on a very high note with your hit song Kanjiva becoming the ZBC TV Coca-Cola video of the year, coupled with the same song winning you a NAMA award for song of the year at the beginning of 2019. A year that started so well for you coupled with the potential you have, a lot was expected of the Stallion.
Then the wheels started coming off!
First, it was the news that you had been “bought” by self-styled controversial prophet one Panganayi Java known as Passion Java for R200 000 from Chillspot records. A lot of people cried foul because it was obviously not a music business move. The news trended for all the wrong reasons and for all that noise the arrangement culminated in the release of the very weird song and video Highest Score. It spooked many because it was way outside what you have become known for. The song divided opinion, with some loving the “dark art” with many others dismissing it as Satanic.
You were forced to apologise for the song and I remember you posting on your social media “sorry kwacho”. A huge climb down I thought at the time.
The second case is the most recent Ngoro debacle, a song that has courted the ire of many Zimbabweans. With the censorship board having to step in and write to all radio stations censoring the song.
Ngoro, to be honest, is for me is your lowest and should serve as a warning sign.
These two events are a good learning place for all of us. Any new artiste that wants to learn, pay attention.
I will give an example, In my short involvement with our country’s politics, I have learnt a few valuable lessons. One of them is on political currency if you don’t know its worth or value someone else is going to spend it for you.
The Currency I’m talking about here is simply your marketability or your influence. If you don’t know how to use it, someone will gladly use it for you. There are people out there who I call currency vultures, they are always on the lookout for who is trending so that they can ride on their back. It usually happens with those that are on their way out, they try to ride the back of the new rising talent to give them relevance. I pray that I find the courage to tell this one young comedian I love so much to watch how his currency is being spent for him to revive a dying brand.
So, you need to be wise. At the end of 2018, you were the most happening artiste same way T Gonz was trending in 2019. One thing you must know is that, because you’re trending, everyone wants a piece of you.
That is what happened with Panganayi, he came and bought your currency and used it to push his own brand. Out of that arrangement, he benefitted more than you did, yes you might have earned a few more dollars but value-wise you lost out.
It is the same with collaborating with anyone on a song, what value is the collaboration giving for your own brand? The main reason for partnering with anyone is so that their following crosses over to you, without the collabo that following might have never given you a chance.
Then there is Rachel J who declared that music is her hobby. Is music a hobby for you or its serious business? Again, you let her spend your currency whilst you alienated yourself from us your fans.
Those lessons are not for you alone to learn but for us all.
We should never allow others to spend our currency for us. There has to be something for us, always.
Is your situation redeemable? Yes! Very much so. I believe so because you did reach the top before and its something I think you can still achieve again only if you start making musical decisions. One of those decisions is getting out of whatever arrangement you have with Passion, it’s not good for you.
In 2020 I am hoping that you have a better year and rediscover yourself. We want our stallion back!
Turoooooo! Ndakanda changu chirauro.