The local arts industry’s year 2016 was unforgettable for many reasons and will surely go down in history as one of the most fruitful years in local arts.
by Kennedy Nyavaya
While the economy continued to deteriorate, forcing some showbiz stakeholders to fold, a significant number of entertainers managed to stay afloat on the playing field against all odds.
In music circles, many of the much-anticipated gigs that included the Morgan Heritage and Jah Cure shows that had continually been cancelled eventually happened and credit must go to the promoters’ unwavering commitment to the industry.
Meanwhile, on an individual level, Jah Prayzah not only pulled a first by winning an MTV viewers’ choice award, courtesy of his Watora Mari smash hit featuring Tanzanian star Diamond Platnumz, but he also dominated the whole of 2016, justifying why he has sustained the “man-of-the-moment” tag for so long.
However, while all seemed to have been going well for some artistes, there is a group of artistes who found themselves in the news for all the wrong reasons.
With a few days left before we begin another year, The Standard Style takes time to reflect on the lot that now occupy the “2016 Hall of Shame”.
Nox Guni’s nasty split
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. over the course of the year 2016, alleged serial dater Nox got to understand the fury of a scorned woman the hard way.
Born Enock Guni, the single artiste is famed for love songs but apparently, apart from the lyrics, he has lots of physical love to give as well.
Last year people woke up to leaked messages of him soliciting for sex from one of his fans, one Nicole Mtisi. And, as it turned out, that was not all.
In the incident which stripped him of respect, screenshots proved that the Ndinonyara singer also sent a picture of his private parts to the girl and since then, he seems to be hopping from one love scandal to another.
The last half of 2016 came with another exposé — an uninspiring tale of love involving his ex-girlfriend of three years, who is known to many on social media as Amai Gamu. While they are reported to have since split, it was not before Nox had borne the brunt of hurting the latter as she went on a continuous tirade in which she washed their dirty linen in public, all while another of Nox’s ex-girlfriends also posted fresh nude pictures of him on Facebook. So, not only has 2016 left fans knowing how Nox looks in his birthday suit, but there no longer seems to be a demarcation between his private and public affairs.
The fall of Baba Tencen
Baba Tencen, real name Pepukai Zvemhari, got a rude awakening at his maiden comedy performance in front of over 3 500 people at the Harare International Conference Centre.
The comic, who shot to fame as a result of online skits, was sharing the stage with Ugandan queen of comedy Anne Kansiime, only for him to disappoint many when he took to the stage to dish out dry jokes.
It is yet to be established whether the coming year will yield anything positive for the budding comedian because there has been a slump in the circulation of his material on social spaces, prompting him to even try his hand at music. Although he has continued to post skits on social media, the general appreciation of his “talent” has evidently diminished.
Stunner the troublemaker
Award-winning rapper Desmond “Stunner” Chideme ended up serving 210 hours of community service for his recklessness which resulted in the injury of a person and damage to property.
The rapper’s attempt at driving stunts meant to impress bystanders backfired big time when he lost control while speeding past traffic lights in the CBD.
The most common public reaction when someone has had an accident is sympathy, but for the 36-year-old father of one, the opposite was true as what followed was bad-mouthing and ridicule, especially when it came to light that he had no valid drivers’ licence despite having been driving for many years. It has also emerged that he is still in the process of paying for the Lexus he wrecked.
Jah Prayzah, Gonyeti debacle
Even main man Jah Prayzah could not escape the bad publicity. He was for several weeks haunted by damaging allegations that he sexually abused his former dancer and backing vocalist Pamela “Gonyeti” Zulu. The allegations were made by “Gonyeti” herself after she quit her job citing poor wages and alleged sexual abuse. While the JP Camp vehemently denied the alleged sexual assault, “Gonyeti” stuck to her word in the legal battle we never heard the end of.
Snipper Storm and the $50 wage
The music promoters who facilitated the Jah Cure gig last week may have “rigged” the voting process for supporting acts, settling for cheaper artistes to suit their shoe-string budget, it has emerged.
In a leaked phone call recording that has gone viral on social media, purportedly between one of the organisers only identified as VJ and Sniper Storm, the former proposes that the Love Yemsoja singer performs for a paltry $50.
The recording, which opened a can of worms, torched a storm as local artistes took to social media to register their disgust over the matter.
It is, however, not yet clear whether the ones that have performed at 2 Kings Entertainment-organised concerts throughout the year were getting their deserved paycheques.
Mudiwa Hood’s fall from grace
It appears gospel rapper Mudiwa Hood has fallen from grace and things are just literally falling apart for the swanky artiste.
His friendly gesture landed him in hot soup earlier this year after he accepted a gong on behalf of Trevor Dongo without the crooner’s permission at the 2016 Zimbabwe Music Awards. Dongo went on to insult the former for doing so, claiming that he had no right as there were people that had been assigned to do so.
As if the gaffe was not enough, the Ndaita Mari singer recently pulled another similar stunt, this time receiving an award on behalf of Jah Prayzah before dropping it and leaving pieces of glass all over the podium.
It appears the message, wherever it is from, is for the musician to leave alone what is not his and wait for his own award to come by one day. Dressing in borrowed robes is clearly not for him to do.
Peter Moyo and the sack of scandals
From paying band members $5 to allegedly neglecting his responsibility as a father, heir apparent to Utakataka Express, Peter “Young Igwe” Moyo could be treading up the wrong lane.
Moyo is said to be neglecting his seven-month-old daughter Mikaela whom he allegedly sired with one Nyasha Ndoro.
That aside, many music lovers have continuously claimed that Peter has failed to match his father’s quality of music ever since he inherited the band.
We now await 2017 to see what it will have in store for us on the entertainment front. If, however, the events of 2016 are anything to go by, we can expect to be again entertained.