A Tribute to Calvin Nhliziyo- The King of Kasi Rap/Hip Hop

By Godwin Phiri

ON Sunday the 25th of October I woke up around 6am and as usual I immediately turned to my Cellphone, checking for missed calls and messages on various platforms and just as I was just to put it away I came across a post I can’t remember from who but the message literally shook me out of bed. Calvin, That Luveve Boy, was gone.

It’s the kind of post you immediately want to verify, hoping that it’s a hoax, praying that somebody has some dark sense of humour which results in morbid pranks. I scrolled further down and saw even more posts.

I went into the Skyz Metro employees WhatsApp group and the news was the same, in fact some had spoken to Calvin’s close confidantes and all of a sudden realty began to sink in.

One of my nephews knocked on my bedroom door and inquired whether what he was reading on twitter was true. Sadly, it was, sadly it is! My mind quickly raced back to a meeting we held with him just over a month ago at the Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo.

It was a frosty meeting with emotions running high. I was accompanied to the meeting by our Executive Producer and Calvin sat across the table. The convenors of the meeting, the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe represented by its Director Loughty Dube and other members of its Complaints Committee occupied the other seats in the MOM.

The subject of the meeting was the long-drawn tiff between Skyz Metro FM and the King of Hip-hop. A lot had been said, a lot had been done, and in the past few months both sides were eager to bury the hatchet.

Unfortunately, Calvin is not here to give his version of events therefore I will not attempt to give a blow by blow account of the proceedings of the meeting. In any case both sides agreed to bury the hatchet and move on. We agreed that we both needed each other not just as human beings but as also as artist and radio station respectively.

After the meeting we walked away together and as we parted at the corner of 10th Avenue and George Silundika, we gave each other those intimate brotherly hugs and promised to keep in touch.

Fast forward to just two weeks ago you rocked up at the station (late of course!). You had a scheduled interview with Khaya, her plan was now messed up she had planned the interview for much earlier.

But well the King was in the building and the interview went ahead. I was parked downstairs and sat in my car for the duration of the interview. It was deep, emotional, you spoke from the heart, you expressed your frustrations with the industry you had given so much to but with little reward. For just under an hour you grabbed us all and dragged us into your heart.

In it we saw and felt your pain and yet still we saw the passionate hope and dreams you had for the industry. You moaned about the state of musicians from Bulawayo, how few of them have anything to show for their toil. This is a role you had taken up of late, standing up for the sector, punching holes in the veil that masks the true lives of our celebrities. You said what I am sure many desired to say but will never say.

After the interview I went up to my office and we had a chat. You told me about the new projects you were working on and even predicted your next jam would set a record for a number one song on Skye Metro charts.

I believed you because I have never doubted your talent. In previous years you had scooped awards at the Skyz Metro FM music awards and your performance of Banjalo Abantu at the 2018 SKYMAZ remains up there with the best. Just before you left you hugged literally everyone and you called them family. Little did I know you were affording us a chance to mourn you without any burdens of broken relationships.

You were allowing us to express our deep pain at your pending departure. As you entered the Pioneer House Lift for the last time little did we know that as the door closed we would never see you again.

I interacted with you briefly on Facebook particularly as you joined me in my usual tirades against Arsenal. You made a comment when I praised our shared love Manchester United after the beautiful night in Paris. I remember the afternoons we sat side by side at Barbourfields stadium as we willed our beloved Bosso on.

Even at the height of our disagreements I remember the walks we would have when we bumped into each other in town. You would always talk about your passion for the industry and what could be done for it to turn the corner.

Of course, once in a while you would go onto social media and blast us again but we had found a way of tolerating each other on those issues. And before we separated you would always ask how nana was in reference to my teenage niece who has a thing for your music and I would tell you I would kill you if you tried anything and of course we would laugh.

The stories are many, many of them have been in the public eye hence the many interpretations. Which is ok, vele Banjalo Abantu!!!Anyway hamba kuhle boys, I pray bambambe — whoever did this. And I pray that the Kontrol Tribe lives on in memory of you. Good bye Calvin!

Godwin Phiri is the Acting CEO Fairtalk Communications (Skyz Metro FM and Breeze FM)