The starting point to personal development is feeding the need for change in your life and Sam Dondo’s latest offering titled Game Changer speaks of an artist who has seen the need for not just internal change within his musical set up, but progression in the way artists do their art.
By Takemore Mazuruse
Held amid pomp and fanfare at a local hotel on Friday, the 13-track album launch was the first of its kind in Zimbabwe.
The amount of investment alone speaks of great intent and Sam believes this is his eureka (I have found it) moment.
“I am one artist who believes in doing well in whatever I do. I have no doubt this new project does justice to my dreams and growth game,” the 31-year-old crooner told The Standard Style.
“Game Changer is not about competition because competition is time-wasting and sometimes makes you lose focus. With this album, I am upping my game and raising the flag and fans should expect nationwide tours and international collaborations moving into the future.
“Yes, the first album made its mark but Game Changer is the real deal and it will entrench my position as a serious musician.”
Indeed, the launch was out of this world and incorporated some big names, among them Zimbabwe Tourism Authority CEO, Karikoga Kaseke, brother to Sam and Impala group chairman Thompson Dondo, music promoter Josh Hozheri, the legendary Zex Manatsa and wife Stella, Nash Paints CEO Tinashe Mutarisi as well as Zimbabwe Business and Arts Hub vice-chairperson Exevia Maoneke, among a host of other big names in business, arts and media that graced the event.
Guest of honour at the event, Affirmative Action Group president Chamu Chiwanza saluted Sam for his efforts, highlighting that he had found his groove.
“Sam has indeeed come of age and having listened to the album, I can assure you he is here to stay. Music is big business and in America for example, Dr Trey is now a billionaire from music. Let’s support local music and I urge all local radio stations to play Sam’s music because he is a game changer,” Chiwanza said.
The album launch which was powered by Impala Group was organised with guests treated to good music, food and drinks.
Thompson said he saw it fit to support his brother because he believed in his talent.
“I saw Sam growing up and I don’t doubt his class and pedigree as a musician. He has defied odds and the new offering creams what I have always seen in him,” he said.
“My favourite tracks from the album include Tichasangana, a dedication to my late twin brother who died eight years ago. Nhapwa Yerudo which comes with a modern feel and Shamwari are my favourite too. The whole album is rich in content and indeed speaks of that game-changing intent.”
The senior Dondo, who went on to outbid Chiwanza and bought the CD for $9 200, said as Impala Group, they believed in supporting local arts and all progressive initiatives as a way of growing the industry.
“Yes, last night was about Sam but as Impala, we believe in supporting local arts while marking our presence as a brand of choice. People love the arts and last night we had people who have not attended such events in a long while coming out because of the quality we invested in it,” he said.
Chiwanza bought the CD for $9 000 while others among the guests bought it for figures ranging between $4 000 and $5 000.
Jive Zimbabwe director Benjy Nyandoro said there was hope for local arts.
“The album launch event took a unique format, away from the traditionally known album launch events. It was well-organised and thought through on every activitiy on the programme. This is the height of investment that we are looking for in our arts industry,” Nyandoro said.
“I listened to the album, Sam’s voice has strong presence. The talent is apparent, looking at how he performs diverse songs and compositions like Game Changer and Only You, it is a masterpiece.”
Sam capped what turned out to be a beautiful and memorable music night with well-choreographed performances of songs from both the first and the new albums, backed by his energetic band.
Criticised for blowing hot and cold, Sam seems to be going for the jugular with the new offering and it remains to be seen if he mantains the momentum. Otherwise the die is cast and good times are set to roll.