18 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Moment of Truth for Winky D

When the visuals of the popular Ngirozi song off Zimdancehall chanter Winky D's latest album Gombwe came to the public forum on Monday, opinion was extensively divided among his local followers.

By Friday, the video had attracted over 144 000 views on video platform YouTube, despite the controversial artiste had not done justice in the entire four minutes and 15 seconds featuring choral ensemble Vabati VaJehova.

In an interview on Friday, his manager, Jonathan Banda, said their work was a sneak peek into the future of music videos.

"That is the future, my friend. I just want to correct the misinterpretation that it is outdated because it is human nature most times when people do not understand something that they mystify it," Banda explained .

Making reference to a 2013 video titled Vashakabvu, which contained similar animation graphics, Banda described the video, shot by Nqobizitha "Enqore" Mlilo, as a masterstroke.

"We did the visuals of Vashakabvu, which was a very good production and to date, other people are still struggling to reach that level. So this time, I have taken the bar even higher," he said.

"There will always be people bringing different barrages of explanations to it, but in terms of the animation and concept, I feel the director did very well and was creative. It is unfortunate if some people feel otherwise."

According to Banda, more videos from the album are "definitely" going to be released probably this year, but evidently, the camp is not open to outward input on their work.

This is notwithstanding Winky D's message a day before the release of the video, which suggested he had done it in the manner his followers would enjoy.

"The song Ngirozi was touched by the fans' blessings of fire the same day that we performed it for the first time in the HICC [Harare International Conference Centre]. Our decision to favour it with this video is premised on the support that you the fans, who are the stakeholders of my music, have given it," the chanter posted on Instagram.

Alas, it was a concept from the "future", which the majority appeared not yet ready to embrace if ever they will.

Earlier this year, Winky D's two collaboration videos for the songs Rugare, featuring South Africa-based Buffalo Souljah, and My Woman, with Bennie, earned him a brace of accolades in the annual Coca-Cola Music Video of the Year Top 50.

This was in addition to another of his works titled Chiramu, which won big in 2017.

Perhaps based on the sweltering support from the legions of his followers, who vote the success of his work in such competitions, the Kambuzuma-bred singer is convinced beyond doubt of his wits when it comes to music videos.

However, in 2016, he stunned many after the release of a below-par video for the hit single Disappear. so bad it was that it failed to impress his die-hard fans.

In an unrepentant manner, his newly-released video has similarly left a lot to be desired, with even some of his fans saying that the only reason they would watch it was because it was a product from their fancied artiste.

But, with such an approach of celebrating seeming mediocrity, Winky D may just continue to conquer the local scene, yet he fails to create a decent foreign following.

"We do not sing music for what you may call the local scene only and that explains why we are going to perform in the UK [United Kingdom] soon," Banda insists.

The Gafa's (Winky D's moniker) work, however, echoes a different reality that could trap him in a local bubble, as his music videos are less thrilling, compared to those of others in the dancehall bracket continentally, dampening his chances of getting airplay on international television stations.

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