Around this time last year, Wallace Chirumiko better known by stage name Winky D was wondering, what had hit him. His “crown” was seriously under siege from a new crop of dancehall artistes.
Artistes from Mbare were on top of their game. Soul Jah Love and Ceh Calaz were involved in a lyrical battle and all the attention was on them.
However, Winky D’s greatest threat was just a stone’s throw away from his Kambuzuma suburb where a new artist was on fire and literally threatening to run away with the crown.
He was the new-found Rugare hero and his fame was not only concentrated in the compound suburb, but was spreading quickly to other suburbs.
In one of his lyrics, the young chanter said “Ghetto rose itai woyee woyee,” and indeed the ghetto youths from all walks of life were responding.
His name is Tocky Vybes!
For the first time in as many years, Winky D disappeared, releasing singles here and there.
The upcoming musicians were not only taking Winky D’s musical turf, but also took a large chunk of commercials, which has been the singer’s main means of survival.
Killer T was endorsed as Chicken Inn brand ambassador while Tocky Vibes took the Savanna Tobacco advert.
Most youths from the ghettos disowned Winky D in protest of his song Mafirakureva in which he chided ghetto youths for substance abuse.
Seh Calaz and Guspy Warrior sided with the youths, releasing Mumota Murikubvira and Tipe Chamba Timone Mone.
Winky D seemed to have moved away from his founding ethos.
During his formative years, his songs were littered with self-praise, violence and lyrics narrating sexual exploits.
Who can afford to forget these lyrics? “Ndazovaona vane godo, Vabva kurova chidodo, Ndiri muninja ndati bodo, Chitoita easy naMwari ndinokusvapura.” Songs such as Location, Musarove Bigman, Controvesy, Nhinhi, Suit Yezvibhakera and Shaya had serious connotations on violence. This made him a household name in the ghetto.
At last, the ghetto youths had found someone they could relate to, or so they assumed. Winky D’s music — though “bubblegum” — was very popular with the youths and many of his songs became sing-along tunes.
The Bigman, as Winky D called himself, went on to show his lyrical prowess by composing songs every month, but still, the youths could not have enough of him.
However, after self-introspection the yesteryear Winky D is back under the praise name Gafa. A look at his latest singles compilation Gafa Life Kick Step, the collection has traces of the singer’s old traits.
The compilation is made up of party songs and it is receiving massive airplay in clubs, at parties and on radio stations.
Winky D said he was still on top of his game.
“I am still here and have been holding shows. Nothing has changed in my line of duty and I am happy that there are a lot of talented upcoming musicians in the country. I will continue to sing and please my fans,” he said.
His manager, Jonathan Banda said it was their plan to retain lost glory.
“This year we focused on releasing singles and it’s a norm world over. I am very happy with the response we have been getting. Winky D is the undisputed king of dancehall,” he said.
In one of his latest punchline, Winky D boisterously says no one will take his crown until Beenie Man sings Shona.
Will Winky D remain the undisputable king of dancehall? Only time will tell.