DJs are often considered last in the entertainment circuit in Zimbabwe. Very few people including industry players have an appreciation for the work and effort put by Disc Jockeys to get the best music, promote the artists and entertain the masses at parties, in clubs, at concerts and any other social gathering where music is played.
By Plot Mhako
Despite carrying the street cred tag in society the wheel-spinners are some of the worst remunerated and some struggle to transition into proper businessmen and end up living a destitute life such that most parents dissuade their children from taking up DJing as a life career. There are several DJs who have defied the odds and built some successful enterprises in the entertainment scene, one such person is Hweva Joe Mvura popularly known as Dj Dollarbill.
Why Dollarbill? “You remember the movie by Ice Cube called The Players Club? There was a guy who owned a club whose name was Dollarbill. So growing up I wished to own a club one day.”
“I managed to fulfil that dream eventually after we opened a Rhumba Club that was called Fortress 88 at the Ambassador Hotel but then left it to Raldane Mhike after pursuing studies in audio-visuals”, said DollarBill.
While still at high school he started Djing part-time at the then popular Channel Zero in Harare’s Budiriro neighbourhood sharing the stage with the likes of Simple A, LuvChild and many other notable yesteryear DJs.
The highschool student would soon build a name that would see him attract reveller from other neighbourhoods to attend the once-popular Thursday Rhumba nights.
The following day Dollarbill would also play Friday afternoon sessions with the likes of Soul Family (Mark Hustler, Luke, Tendai etc) at Archipelago Club affectionately known as Archies or Kugomba. Later on he moved on to Time & Place with his the coleague Dj McWepps.
After completing highschool Dollarbill would switch over to Club Boomerang at Copacabana Bus Terminus. Most yesteryear club-hoppers will definitely remember this joint. It was a high of activity during the day. The joint was top class, celebrated the best air-conditioning and lighting in town.
Fast becoming one of the most sought after DJs the young turntablist who was now in college would host the afternoon sessions at Synergy, the most youthful club that gave the youngsters the best fun in town.
After gaining so much popularity at Synergy, Dollarbill crossed over to NetOne building to join the popular Rhumba club Chez Ntemba Internationa Night Club & Restaurant. Chez was a 100% Rumba club with the late Pichu the Dj. The sound was starting to shift with the growth of Kwaito disrupting the scene and Dollarbill introduced Rumba breaks were he would play Kwaito, Rn’b and Ragga in between. The response was magical.
Now working as a Qunatity Surveying technician for his 9-5 then hitting the Club Dj at night. Sooner the economy would take a grind and in 2009 he left for Pietermaritzburg, South Africa with a dream of opening an entertainment joint together with some of his friends.
Despite the big dream, Dollarbill’s passion for music saw him guest as a DJ at Vacca Matta Clubs (Sun Coast hotels) and Chez Ntemba Clubs dotted around South Africa.
However, things did not go as planned and after a stint he returned back to Chez Ntemba in Harare in 2010 were we he introduced some new concepts.
Fast forward Dollarbill is one of the leading music promoter in Zimbabwe running one of the biggest sound, lighting and stage company DollarBill Entertainment.
Offering services ranging from general entertainment provision, equipment hire which includes an all inclusive Virtual / Online Live Studio, Public Address (P.A.) / Disco Systems, Concert Staging and Trussing, Concert Lighting, Disk jockeys, Live Dvd Recording, and Generators.
His company provides equipment for events of any magnitude from weddings, conferences, corporate and state functions, sports and open days, private parties and any other social gatherings. Dollarbill Entertainment has hosted events by some of the big local and several visiting international artists.
When Covid_19 hit the world early this year, public events were the first to suffer however Dollarbill responded quickly by partnering with Theatre In The Park in Harare to set up a state of the art performance space with provision for live broadcast and streaming. This development has seen a lot of concerts taking place at the space giving artists, promoters and the corporate world uninterrupted entertainment.
A promoter at heart, Dollarbill who still DJs continues to support the growth of new talent in Zimbabwe through support and sponsorship of several initiatives including the recent Helmets Concerts. He also runs the annual Mapopoma Festival in Victoria Falls.
Salute to Dj Dollarbill, a real inspiration for the industry.