Boasting an eventful career characterised by a lot of ups and downs, including name change and turning to God — Black Bird, born Nonkululeko Vundla has broken her two-year music sabbatical.
By Sindiso Dube
In 2013 the rapper was sacked from Star FM after saying on radio that President Robert Mugabe was of Malawian origin.
At one point, she changed her stage name from Black Bird to Temple after she claimed to have been “born again” and started doing Christian rap. However, she soon made a U-turn.
“I am using both names — Temple does ministry work and Black Bird is the gangster, hustler, the mother who does commercial music. However, Black Bird has always been doing positive work. In every song, I have always had an underlying Christian message just like Waiting For Love — it is a Christian love song,” she said.
The 2014 Best Female Rapper at the Zim Hip-hop Awards who has been away in South Africa and Zambia, last week released a three-track extended play (EP) titled The Love Triangle.
The EP carries tracks — Gangsta Papi featuring Miles, Mirira featuring dancehall chanter Smylie and Boaz.
“I believe in love and I know Christians are in love, but they don’t have ‘clean’ love songs to dedicate. Like I did with Waiting For Love, these songs are meant to speak to all those in love or searching for it. In a world where people are materialistic, I want to remind them that love matters more than money and status — love is everything,” she said.
The rapper said even after her two-year absence, she was still the queen of Zimbabwean hip-hop regardless of claims and efforts made by her rivals.
“I always had the crown even when I was away while these girls have been rapping in Zimbabwe. It’s always been my mission to represent Zimbabwe internationally and I can safely say my brand goes beyond Zimbabwe,” she said.
“I have respect for other rappers, but if we look at who has been doing it in the past, present and future, the name Black Bird keeps resonating and no-one can dispute that.
“I am not just a rapper. I do radio, cyphers and most girls out there can’t even freestyle. They don’t understand the hip-hop culture and they are just riding on a fashion wave.”
She said her crown was earned on merit.
“I didn’t give myself the title ‘Queen’, but fans did. I have been here for years. Many come and go, but I stay here. I became the first female rapper to release a hip-hop album in 2010 and inspired a lot of women, though some are too proud to admit.
I respect many females in hip-hop like AWA, she is doing well plus she doesn’t have problems acknowledging the role I played in Zimbabwe hip-hop,” Black Bird said.
After Black Bird bagged the best female rapper award at the Zim Hip-hop Awards in 2014 she was succeeded by Blecperl and AWA in 2015 and 2016 respectively.