Winky D justifies legend status in Byo
SOME might have raised eyebrows when a month ago Winky D was named as part of the Bulawayo leg of the Golden Pilsener Afro Fusion Music Concert line-up.
The Ninja president’s credentials were open to scrutiny as he was named alongside DJ Zinhle, a house music stalwart who has broken down gender barriers by becoming as revered as her male counterparts and Bucie, the industry proclaimed Queen of House who has brought soul and elegance to some of the biggest dance tunes over the past few years.
Dubbed Cheers to the Legend the show, the line-up also boasted the likes of Bulawayo favourites Djembe Monks, DJ Liz, Slamma and Babongile Sikhonjwa.
It was too early, the pessimists argued, to proclaim Winky as a legend only a few years after he took seemingly permanent residence at the apex of the competitive world of Zimdancehall.
On Saturday night however, the Gafa life exponent proved that he should be given the flowers while he can still smell them as he gave an appearance worthy of one who should be considered a legend in his time.
Not taking away anything from the other acts who gave their all on stage, Winky D was in a no nonsense mood , taking no prisoners as he delivered one of his best performances in Bulawayo to date.
Winky D’s energy is difficult to replicate for any performer, and given DJ Zinhle’s lacklustre set which did not seem vastly different from what local DJs have to offer, the move to bring him after the My Name Is hit-maker was a masterstroke by the organisers.
A Winky D performance is a high octane, interactive experience that exhilarates and drains the watcher and Saturday was no different.
The Ninja president launched into Saturday’s set with a rendition of Mudhara Vauya. Beer cups flew, drenching revellers who in the euphoria of Winky D’s grand entrance probably did not notice they were drenching themselves in a rain of alcohol during an already overcast night.
Afterwards Winky D kept the jams coming, plucking out some of the most memorable hits from his rich catalogue to please the agreeable crowd.
Winky D who calls himself Gafa, also took a moment to explain his moniker.
“People always asks me what a Gafa is, and I tell them a Gafa is someone who always controls the situation, someone who is always in control,” he said between one of his breath taking verses. His catchy choruses have endeared him to Zimbabwean music lovers, over the years. Cutting off the background music, Winky went on long lyrical stretches showing off his imperious rhyming ability, proving that what he can do in the studio he can easily replicate on stage. For his performances to be effective, the Ninja president needs a crowd that replicates his energy and he found just that with revellers who thronged Queens Sports Club. They followed all the senior ZimDancehall statesman’s instructions unwaveringly. Clad in all white attire with an Egyptian Pharaoh headgear and acting like a puppeteer, Winky D controlled the crowd with ingenuity and verve as fans screamed, danced and sang along to all his songs such as Woshora, Not Nice, Kwaita Party, Disappear, Mudhara Vauya, Hushamwari Hwenyu and Buddie Zone. After a heart stopping hour that included the performance of a yet to be released song that promises to keep Winky perched at the apex of Zimbabwean music, he finally brought to a close a highly successful night with a performance of his collaboration with Oliver Mtukudzi - Panorwadza Moyo. Although Tuku was not there to sing his part, Winky carried the weight of performing the emotionally charged song with poise and grace. Earlier on Djembe Monks had shown that greatness may also be beckoning for them, as they played a set that easily placated a crowd that had become impatient as they waited for Winky D and DJ Zinhle’s appearances. The tribal house trio’s hard thumping drums were punctuated by chants from funnyman Babongile Sikhonjwa, leading some to ask why the two have never joined forces in the past for something more than a once off stage appearance. The elegant Bucie also brought a soulful touch to a night that was mostly marked by high octane dance tunes which were in sync with the highly energised audience while DJ Liz’s deftness on the decks also did not go unnoticed by the musically savvy crowd. The well attended concert also confounded naysayers who might have forecast a poor turnout in light of several poorly attended shows this year. However, when all was said and done, Winky had proved that he is worthy submission for future Zimbabwean music Hall of Fame, if his exploits in the last few years have not already done so.