From Bigman to Gombwe: Winky D evolves

Takudzwa Chihambakwe
NOT much is known about award winning chanter, Winky D, except that he is one of the most consistent performers and hit-makers in the land.

Unlike most celebrities and public figures, Winky D’s personal life is a closely guarded secret. He hardly ever volunteers information about himself, and so journalists have to dig. Some around him have let the cat out of the bag and now we know he is married and the marriage has brought forth offspring, but that is it.

It is not clear if he is a true Rastafarian, what faith his wife and kids follow, whether he eats meat or not, if he drinks alcohol or smokes.

As his career blossomed, rumour had it that he was never to reveal his dreadlocks in public. That has since changed. He goes out to perform with his locks dangling all over — probably the goal for concealing them was achieved and now it is time to let loose.

Except for the ZiFM album launch a few years ago, Winky D has been known to just unleash his music without any ceremony to accompany it. That has changed too. He is having his first album launch concert and birthday bash this Friday February 2 at the HICC.

We spoke to Winky D’s manager, Jonathan Banda.

“We are a very attentive entity. So we considered the recommendations from fans that we get out of the family unit zone in terms of celebrating the birthday of the artiste as they also wanted to be part of the celebrations.

“Then the second aspect is that the fans needed a grand album launch, so this is us listening to the voice of the masses. Over the past two years people have been asking for videos and if you check, we have recently started working towards increasing the videos we have — we are still starting but we are again responding to the needs of the fans,” said Banda.

Another area that has drawn attention from Winky D besides his hidden personal life has been the names he gives himself.

At one point he was the “Rasta asingadye nyama” who evolved into the Bigman then Ninja President. After that he became the Gafa and in 2016 re-branded to the Extra-terrestrial being. Now ahead of the release of his new album, the chanter revealed that he is now called Gombwe (Guiding Spirit).

This title has raised eyebrows among revellers, with many wondering what it means and why he would give himself such a name. The Sunday Mail Society carried out a little research on the name.

According to the Shona tradition, Gombwe refers to the highest level of spirits. Another definition says that MaGombwe are known as the Divine Angels. The dictionary states that a Gombwe is a guardian spirit.

“These are regional spirits. The Gombwe spirit is not an ancestral spirit, but an angel of the Divine created for a particular purpose,” reads an excerpt from a study on “Divine Angels” and Vadzimu in Shona Religion, Zimbabwe by Takawira Kazembe.

The ever so philosophical Banda had this to say; “As the dictionary states, Gombwe is simply a guardian spirit. So the guardian aspect is what we are taking up to provide guidance around the musical direction, presentation and path, that we feel the industry must take.

“At the level of music we are saying that the album must create an intervening aspect or an interlocutor aspect to sort of try and define the confusion and the misgivings that have been dazzling not only the dancehall genre but the entire music sector, dispelling why a lot of players in the sector gave up, whilst others also fell by the wayside.”

He highlighted that the title Gombwe is befitting for Winky D as he is a tried and tested voice.

“So here comes a tried and tested voice coming to tackle the aforementioned matters at a higher level to provide the consciousness that is necessary for the country to regain its sight in as far as music is concerned.

“People need not be worried about these titles as there is always continuity in our works. Everything we do is interlinked and Gombwe is just expressing a higher dimension of the way we do things,” he highlighted.

Meanwhile, Banda has pointed out that although preparations are on course, the process has not been a walk in the park.

“Things are gradually taking shape ahead of the big day on which fans should brace themselves for a big surprise. However, let me hasten to say it has not been an easy task as we are new at this.

“We did not have a huge team to work on the project and this saw everyone involved being stretched in order for us to achieve our goal.”

 

Also read... http://www.sundaymail.co.zw/winky-ds-hicc-litmus-test/

http://www.sundaymail.co.zw/how-he-became-dancehall-king/

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