I am voice of the youths: Holy Ten

By Kennedy Nyavaya

As the country grapples with wide-ranging vices unsettling and, in worst instances, claiming the lives of young people, the voices of artistes can help expose the menace largely perpetuated by the currently dire socio-political reality, rising rapper Holy Ten believes.

The 21-year-old (born Mukudzei Chatsama) earned the attention of many a few weeks ago when a snippet video from his latest hard-hitting song titled Ndaramerwa started circulating on social media.

The track laden with a message of current hardships that youths are faced with like unemployment and poverty has resonated among both those online and far beyond the cyberspace.

“The inspiration behind Ndaremerwa is the struggle itself, it’s an admission that it’s getting too heavy for me so the reason why that snippet has gone everywhere is because it is a common story for all of us,” he told Standard Style last week.

“I am a messenger and I have thousands of youths on my back that have trusted me to tell their story so when you see it [the song] being passed around, people are in approval and agree that I have told their story well.”

The lyricist said the music, mostly drawn from his personal experiences, is more about spreading the message of modern day-struggles, agony and hope.

“It’s always about trying to express, it is never really about trying to entertain anyone but in those quiet, lonely times and where one needs therapy of some sort, that is when they resort to expression,” he said.

“The main influencing factor to my lyrics is personal struggle and I have gotten so used to translating pain and depression into melody, that’s what influences my lyrics.”

Having begun producing his own music since he was 15, the Amai singer’s music depicts a gloomy picture other musicians in the industry have turned a blind eye to as a result of the risk of state repression yet he is unfazed.

“I do not care what happens, all I care about is the message and that young guy who has fallen into drugs, the jobless guy who has a Master’s degree or a mother that cannot pay school fees,” he said.

“For me if a thousand mothers are going to understand why their kids have now fallen into broncleer [a cough syrup being abused as an illicit drug] because of unemployment and everything else for me it’s okay and whatever happens, happens.”

Meanwhile, with instant trends on the internet nowadays conversant with one-hit wonders or fly-by-nights, one wonders if this will be his fate. However, his future seems bright if his current discography is anything to go by.

For Holy Ten, though, when people get to understand “the value of my words” and “when something happens in the country and they say Holy Ten will say something”, that will be a bigger achievement than the numbers game.

“It is all happening as it should, the music is for the streets so I am happy. I am content with all the people that I have supporting me and those that know the music, they are pushing it so I do not have any challenges,” he said.

“The value of my words on important issues is all I am gunning for.”

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