“W inky usatuke Sniper.
Roki ita sorry Maneta, vakadzi havarohwe.
Sulu dzorera Slomo. Pamuromo ndopanei?
Mutodi usadaro Dhewa, remekedza mweya wevashakabvu…”
Report by Silence Charumbira
These are lyrics from Dino Mudondo’s song titled Ndidane Ndidaire in which he reprimands fellow musicians. He tells Winky D not to provoke Sniper and Roki to apologise to Maneta for the fight in the Big Brother house.
He also takes a swipe at Sulumani Chimbetu for snatching dancer Francis “Franco Slomo” Dhaka from Alick Macheso and Energy Mutodi for taking the late Tongai Moyo’s band members, Gift “Shiga Shiga” Katulika, Spencer Kumulani and Guyson Sixpense.
The song, off the album Quantum, is already topping local charts and has reincarnated Mudondo whose career appeared to have gone into an abyss.
The album also includes tracks like Quantum, Mwenga, Tinenaka, Handizi Makandiwa and Gara Ndichauya.
When I spoke to Mudondo last week, he said the song Ndidane Ndidaire was as a result of his wish to become the voice of the voiceless in trying to police his fellow artists.
Furthermore, he noted he wants to evoke the voice of reason to his contemporaries over the misdemeanours in the industry.
At face value, Mudondo appears to be aiming at restoring sanity in the industry, but is he not trying to resuscitate his faltering music career through controversy?
The peak of Mudondo’s career came when he collaborated with prolific artist Willbroad Muponda aka Willom Tight, who featured on a number of his tracks.
With the help of Tight, Mudondo rose on the performance scene, at one time playing supporting acts to music guru Oliver Mtukudzi in shows around the country.
Of course he has a handful of hits like Jatropha which topped charts because of its aggressive tone in reprimanding irresponsible men who abused their women, but that came when his career was already on the decline.
His previous release Zuva Guru is virtually invisible.
Even the reunion with Tight this year which was supposed to see the duo performing together countrywide failed to yield results.
Mudondo rides on controversy to rejuvenate career
Mudondo has gone an extra mile to seek relevance and controversy is his chosen formula.
In any case, this is not new in music circles, but name-calling has never yielded positive results.
It is common but this reminds me of an adage, “An eye for an eye leaves the world blind.”
The famous quotation, mainly attributed to Mohandas Gandhi, encourages non-use of revenge or aggression.
In Mudondo’s case, revenge seems to be his mission when he mentions Winky D and Sniper in the song.
Winky D once took a jibe at Mudondo referring to the latter’s fight with former girlfriend Cecelia Dapeta which had gone nasty.
It does not require a rocket scientist to discern that Mudondo is hitting back at Winky D.
Mudondo is a good stage performer; thanks to the art of cover versions and a handful of popular songs, but this extremism might not help in the long run.
He is better positioned, as an artist, to resolve any problems he feels are counter-productive to the sector by engagement and not by recording a dis track.
In some instances name-calling has made some popular but in an industry as small as Zimbabwe’s, it might backfire.
Although Chimbetu has offered to work with Mudondo claiming that he is not offended by the song, some artists mentioned in the track might not be amused.
Whether it will work in his favour or not, is yet to be seen but so unmistakable is his cry for attention.