By Kennedy Nyavaya
By now you may have heard or witnessed how Mukudzeyi Mukombe Junior’s simple visuals to the song Rovai Ngoma eclipsed Nox’s heavy investment on My Melody featuring South Africa’s man of the moment, Master KG, on YouTube.
That the videos, interestingly released on the same day last week, would become a topic of debate and comparison was a no-brainer, but whether or not the perceived duel was fair is a whole different discussion on its own.
For those not in the loop, little Mukudzeyi is the son of multi-award-winning and regionally-acclaimed musician Jah Prayzah and that has been a defining moment for his meteoric rise to the limelight.
“Well done son. 167 000 views in 24 hours, you almost beat Daddy’s personal best. Many thanks to everyone who clicked and shared #rovaingoma,” senior Mukombe took to social media on Thursday.
But, how could have young Muku (as his growing fan base affectionately calls him) failed to attract numbers with fierce marketing from his father and the legions of followers before and after the song was posted on Nash TV, arguably the hottest online music content channel at the moment?
Not to take away from his catchy rhymes and cool style, but unimpressed music followers have a point when suggesting that had he been any other ordinary child, what has become a big break would not have been anything to write home about.
The local music terrain is hardly a space for trial and error or experiments, unless if one can hide under the wings of an influential artiste like Jah Prayzah.
“…Mukudzeyi Jnr is shadowed with the father’s name [sic], but song yake to me is way below average. If you remove the Jah Prayzah tag, he won’t get 100k views in a year…” commented Malume Bearings on Facebook.
Tafadzwa Lusias also weighed in: “Your boy did well to memorise and recite your song, he has great potential, but those fans are your fans.”
They make fair points considering that the industry has had a fair share of young musicians who have had to work twice as hard to get a fraction of the attention that Mukudzeyi Jnr enjoyed instantly.
Think about Ras Pompy and Spyderman in the early years of Zimdancehall and more recently Flex Tattle (12) comes to mind when one speaks about the future of the genre.
Bulawayo boasts of 14-year-old Gqom star Tebza who is well-known for staging five-star performances.
However, their efforts combined could hardly amass the attention that JP’s son has at the moment in what brings a question whether the excitement around Mukudzeyi Jnr’s latest release and subsequent popularity has anything to do with genuine talent or the towering shadow of his father’s mega fame.
Whatever the attractive factor is, it will take hard work to maintain because historically, young musicians hardly make it past just being the kid on TV, rave reviews online and fame in the neighbourhood.
Also, descendants of stars are judged harshly and fledgling Muku will have to toughen up as well as live up to billing.
It would also be interesting to know whether the youngster wrote the lyrics to this latest song on his own or not because that could be the difference between him being a fluke or star in the making.
One can tell that Jah Prayzah is determined to employ all it takes to groom his first-born music-wise after having used him as the main character in the Dangerous video last year.
Nonetheless, will an attempt to cheat the system by using influence to smuggle his offspring into the uneven world of showbiz work? Only time will tell.