26 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

Dennis Chimanzi

CONTROVERSIAL Zimdancehall star Hwinza — born Simbarashe Magado — claims to be a reformed man as he has had a moment of epiphany.

Over the years, the gifted chanter has grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons.

He has, however, since decided to turn around his life “after getting counsel” from family elders, especially his maternal grandmother Naume Rupedze.

Naume played a major role in his upbringing following his mother Alice Rupedze’s death in 2012 when he was still aged 13.

Hwinza recently had a brush with the law for allegedly smashing his ex-girlfriend Millicent “Malloti” Chimonyo’s car in a fit of rage.

He was reportedly arrested after the incident and later released.

The duo’s nasty break-up trended on social media for some time last year.

Also, he has had confrontations with a fellow singer over copyrights of some of his compositions.

Another issue that irked fans was his habit of dropping provocative songs, whose lyrics had sexual innuendos.

Off stage, he has been linked to drug and substance abuse, as well as kerb crawling.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail Entertainment, the 25-year-old singer said his “rough upbringing” contributed to some of the challenges he faced.

He was, however, quick to point out that he has managed to turn over a new leaf.

“I was raised by my grandmother after I lost my mother. Life was not that rosy for me. We were very poor, and that pushed me to work extra hard so that I could have a better life and look after my grandmother,” said Hwinza.

His father vanished soon after his wife’s death and has not been in touch with the singer to date.

Trusting his voice and songwriting abilities, he later on decided to become a musician.

Hwinza fought hard for recognition in the cut-throat music industry.

But, as things appeared to be falling in place, he took a wrong turn.

“The music journey has not been that smooth, but things are shaping up. But I will be honest with you, I almost derailed my career because of drugs and other mischief like kerb crawling. However, I am glad I have rediscovered myself,” he said.

The “Zvinondiremera” singer said his then-wayward behaviour resulted in him linking up with “dubious” characters, like his former girlfriend.

“She (Malloti) was never my wife but just a girlfriend, who milked me dry. When we were still dating, I could not even properly take care of my grandmother because of her.

“I have since stopped casual dating because it is a sheer waste of money. Malloti taught me a life lesson. I lost a lot of fortune to her for no gain.”

Hwinza added that his life-changing moment came when he engaged family elders.

The seniors, he said, told him that life was always going to be difficult for him if he did not pay a token of appreciation (chiredzwa) to his grandmother for raising him.

In most cultures in Zimbabwe, a child raised on the maternal side is expected to pay a token of appreciation.

The token differs with cultures.

According to the chanter, he engaged his grandmother and offered to pay money and cattle.

“After consultations with family elders, I went to see my grandmother and offered to pay money and cattle in appreciation of the great work she did in taking care of me since my mother passed away.

“My grandmother then blessed me. She reminded me to work hard, remain focused and to stay away from evil deeds, which I am now doing.

“I believe I am now a new soul and will try my best to stay out of trouble.”

He further claimed to be now constantly taking care of the matriarch, who is diabetic.

“I am now providing her with monthly groceries and allowances. In fact, I have changed my approach. I am always checking up on her, making sure she gets her medication. She can testify to this.”

The musician is currently not dating and said he will take his time to search for a soulmate.

His plan, he said, was to work hard, amass wealth, then have a family.

Dirty lyrics, it appears, are also now a thing of the past, if lyrics on his forthcoming 10-track album, “Kuseri Kwegotsi”, are anything to go by.

Some of the songs on the album are “Denga”, “Mushoriwa”, “Nhumbi Dzemushakabvu”, “Musadaro” and “Mirira”.

The song “Denga”, which talks about Judgment Day, has already been released as a promotional single.

In the track, he encourages people to repent and follow God’s commandments.

“Ririko denga rakamira ngirozi, rakanzi harisi kuzopindwa nevane ngozi. Kurarama muzvivi kumagumo kune misodzi, zuva iroro vakawanda vachava nekuchema,” he sings.

“In ‘Denga’, I am just trying to warn people that Judgment Day is real and upon us,” he said.

When you turn to “Musadaro”, you find the singer encouraging people to shun gender-based violence.

The song, he said, is inspired by real-life experiences.

“I never used to respect women and often abused them. However, that is now all in the past. I am now for peace and preaching love. We must all say no to any form of violence, especially gender-based violence.”

“Nhumbi Dzemushakabvu” talks about a mother who passes away and her relatives then refuse to conduct traditional rites due to outstanding lobola.

In short, the track encourages men to safeguard their families by doing the right thing.

“The younger generation considers issues like lobola to be outdated but that is not the case. Those traditional practices need to be followed. Disregard them at your own peril. If you do not follow our culture properly, you are creating trouble for yourself and the family,” he explained.

Hwinza said he hopes to market the album in schools and churches as he now considers himself a living testimony of God’s grace.

“I found salvation and hope to spread the message. Most youths are doing bad things out of ignorance but with good guidance, they can be saved.”

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