Rising against all odds to superstardom

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FROM modesty — and sometimes downright poverty — to elegance, has been the story of many a celebrity worldwide. Many of them started off from often inauspicious beginnings to write fairy tales of the rise to stardom and its attendant luxury.


Some local musicians’ stories fit into this template and NewsDay Weekender traced some of them who have often used social media pictures to tell the story of the often rocky road they travelled to be where they are today.

Indeed, it was no easy walk to fame. From the pictures, it would appear that Zimdancehall music has had a transforming effect on most of its progenies.

Winky D, Lady Squanda, Soul Jah Love and Freeman have all walked that road.




Freeman, who was born Energy Sylvester Chizanga in Bindura and now goes by the monicker Dancehall Doctor, told NewsDay Weekender that he worked hard to turnaround his life.

“Music has changed my lifestyle especially looking back during the days I used to travel using public transport. But as for now I am driving myself as a result of hard work,” Freeman said. Freeman drives an Audi A4.

Best Dancehall Music-Soul Jah Love.

Soul Jah Love

Controversial and popular dancehall chanter Soul Jah Love, famed for his Chibabababa, Hauite Hauite and Conquering signature chants which appear in all of his songs, did not always enjoy a rosy lifestyle. He had to work hard and rise from a poverty-stricken background.

The Ndini Uya Uya hit maker was said to have been evicted from the family house by his stepmother whom he stayed with after the death of his biological mother when he was only a year-old.

He was then adopted by his grandmother, who later died when he was five years old. His father passed away in 2005 at a time they were living in Waterfalls.

Soul Jah Love, who suffers from diabetes, had to find a way to survive and he turned to music and worked hard to rise to the glory he is currently basking in today.

In a bid to escape the hardship of his childhood, Soul Jah Love and his wife, Bounty Lisa — real name Lynet Musenyi — opened a food canteen in Mbare, whose revenue they use to augment their income from music.

Soul Jah Love rose to prominence in 2012 with his hit tracks among them Ndini Uya Uya and Gum-Kum. He was born Soul Musaka on November 22, 1989, and has a twin brother John.


Killer T

Dancehall musician Kelvin Kusikwenyu’s “pretty boy” looks were not carved from a life of comfort and luxury. Popularly known as Killer T or The Chairman in Zimdancehall circles, he probably never imagined that he would gain some fame as a chanter in early adulthood.

It was through what the musician encountered during his days as a rank marshal that inspired him to pen some of his hit songs that have become anthems to most ghetto youths today, signalling the beginning of his career.

His famous Popopopo gunshot punch lines have made him a household name and a darling to many ghetto youths.

“Life is all about working and one has to work and try all avenues. Music rewards you after hard work,” Killer T, who now drives a Toyota Altezza, said.


Winky D

Having born in the ghetto in Kambuzuma, award-winning dancehall artiste popularly known as the Ninja President or simply Winky D for his biting lyrics against the afflictions of the poor who live in the country’s ghettos, Winky D launched his career as a wheel spinner earning himself the name “Wicked Deejay” which was then shortened to Winky D.

Born Wallace Chirimuko, Winky D’s interest in music started at the tender age of eight and today he is famed for releasing several blockbusters among them Bhachi neJean, Musarova Bigman, Controversy and Swagga Muchando that have seen him performing in several countries around the world.-Newsday

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