Latin philosophers of old advocated for the concept of ‘Carpe Diem’: to seize the day. The central idea behind this philosophy is that since we do not know what tomorrow brings, we must make the most of every moment we have. Zimbabwean businessman Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure died early Sunday the 8th of November 2020 in a head-on collision in Harare. He was in the company of three friends.
By Shingi Mavima, Michigan, USA
Seize it, if you will. And lest I be accused of venerating Roman thought, this idea appears in communities across the globe and history: whether it be ‘make hay while the sun shines’ from medieval English, ‘basa mangwanani’ in Shona, or Drake’s invocation of YOLO (You Only Live Once.) In a nutshell, the best way to deal with our inevitable mortality is to make the best of our days this side of it.
Ginimbi did just that. I did not know him personally, but by all overwhelming accounts, and the bits of him we got to see, Genius seized the day. That story has been told a dozen times, and will be told a hundred more, so I won’t belabor it.
One of the areas where Ginimbi gave his all, and developed symbiotic relationship with, was the arts.
Not only did he surround himself with every prominent artist of this generation in the country (and ‘everyone’ is not hyperbole by the way, we mean every dang one) but his famous Domboshawa den became a mainstay in music videos.
But while photos may fade with time, and the house be forgotten outside of its contemporary context by future generations, the spoken word abides. Music artists found a way to celebrate Ginimbi- wealth and all- in their music over the past few years. So here you go, five instances where musicians gave Genius Kadungure his flowers when he could still smell them.
- Sikistini- Tulk Munny
Waya Gwala kunge Ginimbi/
Tulk the Dollars/
More the bhejaz for the Stonyenis”
From one of my favorite local spittas. Tulk Munny, slurring on the beat as he does so well, opens up the song by situating his hustle in the same tradition as Ginimbi. In addition to the nod towards the financial juggernaut that is Boss G, what differentiates this mention from the others on the list is that it’s less about wanting to be like Ginimbi and, instead, moving like him- even when you have the little that you do.
- Ginimbi- T Jones
“Ndoda kuita Blesser yechidiki…
Mfana ane skiri…
Just like Ginimbi.”
In an era of broken dreams within young urban Zimbabwe, Ginimbi became part of that select group of people who had made it, and ostentatiously showed that he had. He thus became a defacto-symbol of aspiration.
- Kurunga- Kikky BadAss ft Crooger
“Ginimbi bought a Rari
Handsome doesnt pay bills wangu ngatishande”
Maan. Fire track this. The most recent track on this list, this remix to Kikky’s 2019 song ‘Kurunga’ features Crooger, and dropped on October 31st. Crooger’s bars (quoted above) go beyond the generic #WannabeGinimbi sentiments seen elsewhere on this list. For much of his time in the limelight, Ginimbi got teased by nastier segments of the virtual world for apparently not being eye candy. If it ever got to him, the man never showed it. He’d dust his shoulders off, pour champagne and leave something on a new vehicle. It is this personality trait, and the very real notion of “keeping the main thing the main thing” that Crooger raps about here.
- Slayin- Mudiwa Hood
Although not explicitly stating Genius’s name, the song may as well be a tribute video to the millionaire’s largesse. His house and cars, by now familiar to the public by way of social media, were the subject of Mudiwa’s ‘Slayin.’ So there’s that.
- Ginimbi- Famo ft Dj Shukran
“Who got the fancy cars?
You know my name Ginimbi,
I mean the fancy cars you always see on TV
GInimbi, Ginimbi, I’m GInimbi.”
Hip-hop is inherently aspirational and given to braggadocio. Consider the following lines
from 1979’s Rapper’s Delight, largely considered to be the first recorded hip hop song
You see, I got more clothes than Muhammad Ali
And I dress so viciously.
I got bodyguards, I got two big cars
That definitely ain’t the wack,
I got a Lincoln Continental and a sunroof Cadillac.
Clearly, not much has changed in 40 years of the genre, as rappers continue to attach themselves to cultural symbols of affluence…and fancy cars.
- Fadza Mutengi- Poptain ft Allanah
By far the biggest song on this list, I’m willing to bet it has more YouTube views than all the others put together. For good reason: it’s one of the best songs of the year. It is also a king-making anthem, catapulting Poptain and Allanah(both who had been grinding for a while and developed a solid fan base) into the mainstream. Also shot at the Domboshawa mansion, the song is a playful ditty about doing right by those who drop money on you; the blessers if you will. In keeping with the spirit of the song, Poptain rifles out a few names of bigwigs that have shown him love and, of course, Ginimbi was in the mix
- Ginimbi- Craig Bone
“Mwari ndibatsirei kuita mari SaGinimbi.”
Another song praying to be rich like Ginimbi. But in Dancehall form this time (s/o to Cymplex for that Wannabe Riddim!)
Don’t get me wrong; the song is actually pretty good. But at this point in the list, I’ve captured its essence two or three times over already in the other entries.
- Ginimbi Rich- Asaph ft Ganyaz Jr.
“I’m tryna put H on my wrist/
I’m tryna put Skies on my Chain/
I’m tryna get Ginimbi Rich/
Make em remember my name.”
Track #6 off of one of 2019’s best hip-hop offerings, Asaph’s The People’s Rapper, this aspirational tune goes beyond the simple ‘rich like Ginimbi’ element and acknowledges another important facet of his persona: he was determined to put his communities on the map. While the partying, cars and Domboshawa house became synonymous with him, let’s never forget that he once bailed out 50 prisoners that he had been locked up with. Or his stint as ambassador of the Harare International Carnival. And his importing of colorful characters from the US to entertain right here in Nehanda’s Zimbabwe. Say what you will about the brother, but he put on for his city and country.
9. Ninja Christmas- Winky D.
“Layan, koka ma sisters/
Unogaya kuti i birthday ra Genius…”
If you are like me, then you may have forgotten just how far back the legend of Ginimbi’s get-togethers go. This 2011 tune from the Gaffa (or, rather Ninja at the time) is the earliest shoutout on this list to what would go on to become the stuff of young opulent legend in Zimbabwe.
(SN, Winky D has evolved over the years, hasn’t he?)
10. My Guy (Feeling Like Ginimbi): McKnife
“I be feeling like Ginimbi (My Guy)”
If YouTube stats are anything to go by, this is the least known song on this list. Admittedly, I just learnt about it as well. A shame really; as I tend to think it’s a nice vibe anthem and one of the better songs on the list. Riffing off Ginimbi’s famous salutation, ‘My Guy…’, McKnife adds a slightly different level of familiarity that works well in paying homage.
And with that, my friends, Genius Kadungure has left the building. We grieve for him and the friends who perished with him.
You were here, and you seized the day. There is no doubt that, in the next few weeks, we will be inundated with tribute tracks- which is honorable. But we also hope the tracks listed herein reminded you, for what it mattered, that you were appreciated by many while you were here.
Remember folks, in the words of Poptain, “Musakanganwe Ginimbi!”
(Did we leave any songs out? Let us know in the comments!)