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Zimdancehall artiste retraces his roots

Blessing Musabayana, aka Icon B

By Kenneth Nyangani

Zimdancehall artiste Blessing Musabayana, better known as Icon B, who has been in Cape Town, South Africa, for close to a decade, has relocated back to Mutare with the hope of claiming a stake on the mainstream music scene.

The talented lyricist left Zimbabwe in 2009 and recorded a number of singles with prominent South Africa-based stables before making his grand return in mid-November last year.
During his stay in Cape Town, Icon B shared the stage with prominent Zimdancehall sensations Freeman and Dobba Don, among others.

He said he was overwhelmed by the growing calls from local fans urging him to set base in Zimbabwe.

“I was inspired by the love I received back home from people who listened to my music online. They kept asking when I was coming back home and they advised that I had better prospects here [Mutare]. This is what pushed me to come back home,” said Icon B, who also trades as Buru Bantun.

The 32-year-old Zimdancehall chanter says he is wasting no time as he has already recorded his first single on the 45 Degrees riddim in Zimbabwe with Mbare-based Kritical Beats Clapping Studios.

He has also done a collaboration with Kuda Culture. Both tracks are yet to be released.

“I want to make a name for myself. I want the entire Zimdancehall movement to know that I’m here and things will not be the same. I know many are not yet familiar with my sound, but my works will speak on my behalf. Those who are familiar with my music know what I mean,” he said.

“So I have already recorded my first single in Mbare and have also done a collaboration in Harare. I will be spending most of my time in the studio and on stage.”

Icon B said he would be making use of social media platforms and other traditional mediums to push and market his music.

He indicated that he would be re-launching his singles recorded in South Africa with Toisen Kadengoma’s Perfect Studios and 2224 Sound Minds owned by X-Factor.

Tracks to watch out for include WeJoni, Pamangoma featuring Ghetto Lady, Makomborero, Hamuzvione and Ndaida Kuuya, among others.

On WeJoni — loosely translated “those from Johannesburg” — Icon B illustrates the significant role played by South Africa-based Zimbabweans in providing financial and food aid to their respective families and relatives back home.

He also paints the high expectations locals have towards their counterparts on the other side of the Limpopo in lightening up the festive season mood.

Icon B also does ghetto commentary on real life issues like how Phillip Maramba was arrested and pays homage to Dangamvura high-density suburb ringleaders such as Blessing “Big Dhara” Nedziwe, Casper Rakabopa and Nyasha “Nyangalala” Nzongwe on Ndaidakuuya.

He believes he would have been on another pedestal had he not left for South Africa.

“I had just started doing shows in 2009 and the most memorable one was with Badman. But because of pressing personal issues, I had to abandon music when I left for South Africa because I had to look for a job. I only resumed doing music in 2013 when I recorded Mwari Komborera, which has a video,” said the third born in a family of five boys.

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