The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Capleton Show Organisers Hunt Ghetto Rappers

Photo: Santos Diaz/Flickr
Jamaican Reggae legend Capleton.

Harare — Organisers of the Dancehall Festival have started scouting for microphone chanters from the ghettos in Harare and Chitungwiza who will have a rare chance to share the stage with Jamaican reggae/dancehall star Capleton.

Capleton, or simply the Prophet, is scheduled to come for two shows one on December 31, and another one on New Year's Day and he insisted that he was keen on exposing local talent.

According to Godfather Templeman in conjunction with Red Rose Entertainment, King Shango will go on a tour of the ghettos in Harare and Chitungwiza where he is expected to inspire and impart to the youths true values of the Rastafari movement.

"We are scouting for raw ghetto talent and those who qualify will be able to meet and receive mentorship from the Prophet.

"We are trying our best to cover as much ground to identify the ghetto emcees with the potential so that by the time King Shango arrives on December 29 everything would be in place," he said.

Templeman said besides the main act there is going to be the battle of emcees as part of the festival.

"Capleton is keen on meeting ghetto youths and we have made sure that he holds his farewell gig on New Year's Day in Chitungwiza. It will be a purely dancehall fiesta during both shows," Templeman who is ranked as one of the top turntable masters said.

Asked what measures they have in place in case it rains on the day of the show, Templeman said they would pitch up tents right around the Glamis arena.

The Prophet and his live band are billed to perform at the Glamis Stadium on December 31 alongside a host of local performing artistes including Winky D aka "Bigiman".

Capleton was born Clifton George Bailey III on April 13, 1976 in Saint Mary, Jamaica and is a world renowned reggae/dancehall artiste.

He recorded one of the longest songs in dancehall history, when he released a seven-minute hit titled "Redder Fire". He has performed in Africa before but his visit to Zimbabwe will be the first time that he has ever performed in southern Africa.

Capleton rose to prominence in 1989 and for the past 21 years has been releasing hit after hit.

According to his official website: "Capleton is largely inspired by Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh.

"As a youth, he was given the surname of a popular Jamaican lawyer of the era, Capleton, as a nickname by his relatives and friends. Believing himself to be musically inclined as a youth he states that Jah guided him to choose music as a career.

"Capleton makes reference to Bobo Ashanti, one of the various mansions of the Rastafari movement. Yet he frequently mentions there's no separation between the mansions of Rastafari as he see it, also concluding in the same interview on TraceTV where he admitted he doesn't eat meat of any kind, consume dairy in any form, or even eat anything from soya. 'Not an ordinary vegetarian . . .' he stated, 'I'm vegan'."

He also touches on the subject of his fire he burns, and that he has never wanted the killing of any individual of any kind or form. Capleton has made many vegan references in his music over the years also.

"Capleton has faced criticism for anti-gay lyrics in some of his songs. "His manager has argued that some of the controversial lyrics have been mistranslated and do not actually refer to gays.

"Capleton himself has admitted that through his Rastafari faith he believes that a homosexual lifestyle is not right, but has insisted that terms such as 'burn' and 'fire' are not to be understood in the literal sense 'to go out and burn and kill people', but as a metaphor for 'purification' and cleansing."

He joins the long list of Jamaican artistes to visit Zimbabwe this year after Maxi Priest, Sizzla Kalonji, Mutabaruka, Brick and Lace as well as Sean Paul.

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