Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
WOW Ntwana! I didn’t know that you had so many fans. I didn’t know that so many people followed your career.
People are playing your music. They love you and your work. They have enough respect for you Ntwana!
All radio stations in Zimbabwe are playing your songs. They are playing the classics – Bebengakholwa, Zikhuphani, Grind China, King Kong, Izandla Emoyeni and Banjalo Abantu.
Club DJs in Bulawayo as well as national radio DJs, are playing your music and people are dancing to it. They are giving shout outs to you boy. Fans and other people are sharing your music online – they love it and they miss you.
You’ve got new fans. People now know you. Today, there’s a road show in your honour and people around the city are talking about how you were loved and cherished.
Wow Ntwana kaManax, I did not know that you had so many fans in your life. But, fate chose the wrong stage and time for us to see your greatness and how much we needed you.
Sunday, October 25, 2020 will be a sad day in our lives and in mine.
All that you wanted to achieve Mgcini has come full circle!
The first time you walked into the Chronicle newsroom in Bulawayo on that sunny day in 2014, you said you wanted your name to be known by the whole country. You presented a plan through which you wanted to use hip hop to inspire a generation, give them solid and thought-provoking content and get them deep in thought about their lives.
Through your song, Bebengakholwa you bluntly said people were in disbelief that an artiste from Bulawayo had people singing along to your lyrics.
As for Zikhuphani, it embodied you, what you stood for Luveve first, Bulawayo second and Zimbabwe third.
Luveve accepted you, they loved you, the ghetto loved you, some in Bulawayo embraced you, they loved the songs, they voted for them on ZiFM’s top Bulawayo top 10 chart show that Gibson Ncube set up. Because he believed in you, he believed in music from the city and promoted it so that it could conquer nationally.
You sang about Bulawayo in the song uBulawayo that featured GTi and Albert Nyathi. Do they know it and how it came about. No, they are just singing about it.
Where were the people who appreciate you now when you initiated the Made in Bulawayo platform? You set it up to give back to Bulawayo and funded it from your own pocket. You didn’t want anything in return besides seeing young artistes getting the national fame that you got for your music.
Where were the people who are now retweeting and talking about your death when you performed at Kalawa Homecoming Party in 2016 with Cassper Nyovest? Few sang along to your hit Zikhuphani that got Cassper hooked for a feature.
Talking about Cassper, the previous year, he united Zimbabwe and South Africa during the xenophobic attacks in that nation when he mustered up the courage to come here and perform at Hartsfield Tshisanyama. But you know what, there were some people who did not want you on that stage. They did not believe in a Bulawayo artiste, they just wanted DJs to play as the supporting acts.
Cassper was to fill up The Dome in South Africa in the same year. You wanted to go and you begged and pleaded in private for funding to go there. A few listened to you, but no one paid attention.
At the many shows, there was no sing-along for Bebengakholwa, Grind China and Jeki, just dead silence and people watched you on stage.
It was sad seeing the effort you put in when you were afforded the chance to perform alongside SA’s KO and Winky at the Amphitheatre. The song Jeki was released before that performance and it was hip as it had that kwaito feel that Bulawayo has always loved. But because it was from an artiste from here, people did not care.
On social media, you showed the people how you were preparing for the show and you told me that you wanted everyone to feel your presence. But in the crowd, it was a different story, the people were saying “who is this, what is he trying to do. He sounds like KO; he is an imitation of KO”. These were the people you were performing for King.
You didn’t show the pain that you felt about the rejection you got from the very city you were representing and singing about in your songs. Instead, you insisted that one day, they would love you and represent you.
But not like this Cal Vin. Not when you are dead. It’s all meaningless!
The love we are showing you now is meaningless. You can’t enjoy it, lap it up or bask in its glory.
The very DJs who did not play your music are now playing it regularly when you are dead. The very clubs that did not book you for shows in the city are bumping to your music. T-Shirts are being printed in your honour and awards are being renamed after you Mgcini.
This is not right Cal Vin. This is the same thing that you always talked about in your music and in our conversations.
“Why aren’t they playing my music? Ok, not only my music, but that of other artistes who are doing well?” you would quiz.
Fortunately, there are now radio stations that have chart shows where numerous musicians from the city are finally at the pinnacle on the charts. But you will never hear their music.
Just like Lovemore Majaivana who is now loved in his absence, you told us in the song Thabani that people wanted to drive you out of the city with their hate. You went on to reference with Majaivana in the song, I wish I was where you said maybe you would have been successful if you were from another city.
Some of your peers said you were complaining too much and you should just focus on producing music and pushing it as they believed you were not working hard enough to promote your music.
Do they know the countless times that you travelled to Harare to promote yourself? You used the train, sleeping on it overnight, freshening up at a friend’s house in the morning after arriving then taking on the radio stations the whole day. Thereafter, you would return to Bulawayo and get back to studio.
Do they know at some gigs, you were told to stand at the VIP gate while someone comes to get you, but yet you were performing there? At one of the events, you waited for three hours.
Now we want to appreciate and celebrate when you are dead. It’s only now that we realise you had so many songs.
Ntwana, I always knew you had an end game with whatever you did! Is this your end game, to make people realise that?
Thank you for introducing me to Cal Vin and Mgcini. Cal Vin the artiste, unapologetic and brave artiste who called out big brands and radio stations for not giving you your worth. Cal Vin who made the few of us dance, reflect and even cry. Cal Vin who wanted everyone from his city and hood to be big, to win awards and make a national impact despite the lack of love from Bulawayo as a whole.
Mgcini the talkative joker who loved his drinks in moderation. Mgcini who loved his daughter and his mother.
Mgcini who wished to spend more time with his late father, who wanted to receive advice and emulate in everything.
I did not think in the song Roses when you cited people who influenced and helped your career and mentioned me, you were saying goodbye. It hurts Ntwana. Rest in peace and after all this, just know, Banjalo Abantu! – @bonganinkunzi