BY Style reporter
South Africa-based Zimbabwean hip-hop artiste Ngonidzashe “King 98” Dondo says preparations for his debut album Francesca are gathering momentum, with the youthful rapper saying he is raring to roll.
King 98 will launch his 12-track album on May 1 at Wingate Golf Club in Harare where he will be supported by a star-studded group of local and international artistes.
Nigerian star David “Davido” Adeleke and celebrated South African rap superstar Nasty C are set to make a return to Zimbabwe for the second time when they share the stage with Zimbabwe’s newly-found hip-hop star.
King 98 in January joined forces with Davido on a single titled No Bad Vibes, which is doing well on local radio stations and has found its way to several radio and television channels in South Africa and Nigeria.
To consolidate his Naija link, King 98 is under the management of Nigerian entertainment guru Sam “Olofofo” Frank who is credited for nurturing young talent, including Nigerian singing sensation Adewale Mayowa Emmanuel, aka Mayorkun Kunis.
As for Nasty C, the two shared the stage together at Wingate Golf Club in August last year where King 98 warmed up the stage for the South African star.
King 98 said he had improved a lot since his maiden show.
“I want to promise people out there that the album launch gig will be a high-energy performance and it will be electric,” he said.
King 98 said he was happy that music followers were now embracing his music, thanks to his collaboration with Davido, whom he described as a humble and hardworking man.
“We are almost done with the album, but I would like to thank Davido for showing me how it is done. He is a humble man and is willing to assist young artistes like us,” he said.
King 98 said he was recently in the studio with Nasty C, working on a song titled Wacko, which is on the forthcoming album.
“We completed the collaboration with Nasty C and it’s titled Wacko. Other songs on the album include Pardon Me, Trouble, Twisted and Cake. The title track Francesca is done already and is a dedication to a great woman, my mother,” he said.
Apart from Davido and Nasty C, King 98 will be supported by South Africa’s Nadia Nakai as well as locals DJ Silence Dosh, Union 5, Tammy Moyo and Ashleigh Moyo, popularly known as “Shashl” in music circles.
Impala Car Rental CEO Thompson Dondo, whose company is powering the launch, said preparations had gathered steam.
“As you know, this is a unique event considering the timing. We are starting in the afternoon and our target group are the youths. We have a team that is going around tertiary institutions mobilising the youths to come in their numbers,” he said.
Dondo said he was happy with the preparations as all the artistes billed to perform on the day had confirmed participation.
“Davido was in South Africa with King 98 recently and the two seem to be getting along. He promised that he would do his best at the show, so did Nasty C who is not new to Wingate Golf Club,” he said.
King 98 made his debut on the mainstream music scene in style when he launched his single titled Defeat on the regional urban music channel MTV Base in July last year.
A month later he flew to Canada where he shared the stage with Zimdancehall sensation Winky D and DJ Silence Dosh at the Impala Car Rental Africa-Canada Summer Festival in Toronto.
The young rapper, who is under the tutelage of DJ Simz in Zimbabwe, Faith Siphoro (South Africa) and Frank (Nigeria), also gave a vintage act when he warmed the stage for Nasty C last year, considering that it was his maiden performance on the big stage.
He sang four tracks Man Dem, Duce, Defeat and Flex on the night sending the packed Wingate Golf Club into a frenzy.
“I can’t rate myself, but from the feedback that I got from my friends, on social media and family, I gave a good show. Even some people who did not know me before reached out complimenting me on the performance,” King 98 said.