Merciless headed for the stars

Ralston Muchoko
HIS face is synonymous with ZBC-TV’s reggae-dancehall show, Rockers Island.

To club hoppers, he is famous for being the MC of once popular sound movement, Legendary Sound.

At the moment, he hosts Weddy Weddy Wednesday every Wednesday from 9pm to midnight and Caribbean Power Jam every Saturday from 3pm to 6pm on Power FM.

Tatenda Charlton Nyevera, born July 3 1990, known by his stage name Merciless Zimbabwe, is one of the most successful contemporary dancehall MCs in Zimbabwe at the moment.

Since childhood, Merciless says he always exhibited signs of a music man.

“Growing up in Mbare where ghetto youths are associated with dancehall triggered my passion for music. I was inspired by my late uncle Alouis Jental, who used to be part of the legendary Pied Pipers band back in the day,” said Merciless.

From there, Merciless started following dancehall shows and artistes like Sizzla Kalonji and Capleton. Since 2008, he was associated with dancehall music and credits King Labash of the “Kukonzeresa” fame for introducing him to the industry.

“I have learnt from the best, the likes of Major E, Etherton Bennie, Abisha Palmer and Templeman,” he said.

He went on to join Last Generation sounds where he worked with the likes of Tee Nyc Di Ticha before joining Legendary Sound, a movement that was home to Badman Bee, Smylie, Mad Vancho, DJ Simmz and Zaione.

However, he says it was the Redfox community (kumarasta), led by Elder Robert Zhuwawo, which changed the dimension of how dancehall was viewed and how he began to view his chosen career path.

Merciless has gone on to spread the dancehall gospel to almost every part of the country as well as in Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique, among other countries. He has become a permanent feature at dancehall shows involving local and international artistes.

In 2014, Merciless created his own label, “Ooh WoW Empire”, which has gone on to become a force to reckon with in the industry. He works with DJs Sakhie and Jerry Springer and the team has released ten mix-tapes. They have turned Club Red 32 in Southerton into the “most happening” Mad Sundays venue in the capital.

“Being on radio and on television has broadened my audience nationally and internationally. ZBC has made me grow as a personality and I appreciate the support they have given me.”

Merciless is troubled by stigma from people who associate reggae-dancehall with drugs and alcohol abuse. A devoted Catholic himself, Merciless is also passionate about using music as a vehicle for education.

With nine O-Level passes and nine points at A-Level, Merciless believes that being the best at whatever one does is the key to success. He holds a diploma in Information and Technology and is currently reading for another diploma in marketing.

A health conscious showbiz man — Merciless exercises his body and mind by playing football during his free time.

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