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Winky D camp speaks out

By Kennedy Nyavaya

Dancehall chanter Winky D’s camp has for the first time gone into detail about how their efforts into putting together a massive event for the release of his Njema album almost went up in smoke right at the eleventh hour.

Intimidation from mysterious political forces and a sudden brush with the law threatened to derail their progress.

“There were times when I thought it [the album launch] was not going to happen, but I had to keep my calm because at the end of the day I was very prayerful, had confidence and did not want to disappoint the people who had been waiting for the longest time,” Winky D’s manager Jonathan Banda told Standard Style in an exclusive interview on Friday.

Banda explained how the precarious period was a circus of firsts sparked by the supposed leak of the song Ijipita which divided opinion particularly along political lines resulting in a chain of threats from political zealots.

This coincided with summons to Harare Central Police Station on the eve of the show and the censorship board on the big day despite having been granted clearance documents prior.

“They [police] were said to have some reservations with that particular clearance which could have meant some revocation. A whole lot happened,” Banda said.

“I did not sleep that night because I had to present myself to the censorship board and make some requisite applications, which was the first time anywhere in terms of the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act.”

It was the first time they had been subjected to such intense scrutiny and potential danger, but Banda said he had drawn positives from the saga.

“We had to go through that, but I am actually happy that if the arts are getting such attention in terms of implementation of laws, then maybe it will develop the arts in a good way,” he said.

When questioned how they would deal with the frequent politicisation of Winky D’s music, Banda professed ignorance.

“I do not know because if at all there was any transgression by my record label or the artiste, then I think people should be forthright and confront me or lay bare the facts to me so we can relate on the matter,” he said.

He admits, however, that the artiste’s message has evolved although it remains a representation of the underprivileged in society.

“We are moving in a straight and narrow path and know where we want to get to, especially right now, we have to teach and speak to everyone else more than we speak to ourselves,” said Banda, adding that their music represented the feelings of their followers.

“We no longer have that luxury, just too many people are now part of our musical family and if they are our brothers as our siblings, we have to respect whatever it is they feel, sense and perceive so that we remain on the same page.”

l Read full interview in next week’s edition of Standard Style.

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