Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
EVERY dog has its day. These words have proved to be true for a Nkayi Maskandi musician, Clopas Sikhosana, who after 14 years of strumming his guitar in the Gwamba Village rural area, recently became an Internet sensation after his video clip of a Covid-19 song went viral.
The song with which he addresses the effects of the pandemic, depicted the hunger that people in the rural areas are facing during the lockdown.
The song became an instant hit as its lyrics ring true in people’s hearts as they were witty and humorous.
After watching the clip, most started asking where the artiste was from and if he had more music. The likes of musician Madlela Skhobokhobo decided to embark on a journey to Nkayi to look for the talented musician to help him record some of his music in Bulawayo as a way of promoting him.
They found him and took him to the Cite Zw studios where he recorded his music, free of charge. Chronicle Showbiz this week met the self-taught 29-year-old guitarist after a recording session of his first album.
On his Covid-19 hit, Sikhosana said he composed it with the hope of raising awareness and is glad that it has been accessed by a lot of people.
“The songs that I compose act as advice to people. I get inspired by things that I see that God tells me to sing about. This coronavirus is very dangerous and it’s sad as it can wipe us all out. But as I sang, with prayer, we shall be protected until its effects on the world subside,” said Sikhosana.
The musician who only completed primary education in Nkayi, said he started playing the guitar 14 years ago and has been patiently waiting for a breakthrough. He said his uncle, Samganda, was a renowned guitarist in his own right and it seems that the talent was passed down to him.
For years, the father of two said his desire was to have his talent sustain his livelihood.
“It’s been 14 years of playing the guitar. This is a natural gift and when I would play at the community borehole in Nkayi, you’d find people putting down their containers and coming to listen.
“I’d tell them that they’d burn their relish if they keep on watching me,” said Sikhosana.
With encouragement, he said he started playing at Nkayi business centre.
“After some time, I started performing in the Nkayi business district. People would give me money for performing and I could buy food for my family.
“Some would tell me that I’m wasting my talent but there was nothing I could do as I didn’t have a sponsor to assist me to record. But I was always hopeful that one day, things would happen.”
From time to time, Sikhosana said there were people who would take videos of him performing, but he did not know that one day, one of the clips would serve as his breakthrough.
“There are people who would take videos of me performing with my guitar in the rural areas. They would say that they liked my singing. I was surprised to hear that some of the videos have made their way to people as far as the United Kingdom,” said Sikhosana.
The Maskandi musician’s type of music is in the mould of legendary Maskandi artiste, the late George Sibanda who sang the popular track Gwabi Gwabi in the late 40s.
Weeks before Skhobokhobo identified him, Sikhosana said he “dreamt” about the more established artiste.
“I had three dreams this year that I remember vividly. The first one, I dreamt meeting Madlela. I would see him on photos, but I hadn’t met him personally. Then I dreamt harvesting amacimbi (mopani worms).
When I woke up, I told my wife and she said it meant that I’d get money.
“Some days later, I dreamt seeing eggs. Within a week, I was contacted by a Bheki who told me Madlela was looking for me as he wanted to assist with my career,” said Sikhosana, who was full of praise for Madlela.
Madlela on his part, said he was captivated by a clip of Sikhosana performing his Sizaqhoba amagwadla akula ndaba song and felt compelled to help him.
“I watched the clip and shared it because I felt that his talent needed to be shown to the world. Maybe his dream (of making it in the music industry) could come true I told myself. So, I decided to go and collect him and help record an album.
“I worked on the logistics and I’m grateful to Kingdom Blue Funeral Parlour who assisted with transport to Nkayi,” said Madlela.
“Cite Zw came through with their studio time and Sikhosana worked with Nash, my producer.”
Madlela said Sikhosana recorded the album like a professional. He added that they managed to record five songs and a single titled So Me So that will be released in the next coming days. Other tracks are Sesalahla Amasiko, Two Nine, Buhle and Amayusa.
During his stay in Bulawayo, Sikhosana who is expected to return to Nkayi today, met Jeys Marabini and Sandra Ndebele and was presented with an acoustic guitar that was donated to him by Iyasa founder, Nkululeko Dube. In order to ensure that he looks the part of a real superstar, one of the city’s top boutiques, On Point presented him with a complete formal outfit. – @bonganinkunzi