It has become quite the normal these days that whenever an international artist is billed to perform in Zimbabwe alongside the local Dancehall Igwe (King), Winky D, they will be second. “He shows them who is the king,” someone would tell me.
He has done it to various international acts, making the fans regret having paid extra for an international singer when he or she was just going to play second to the Igwe. This time it was Beenie Man‘s turn.
The renowned dancehall veteran ‘failed to deliver’ as expected at an event that was held on 26 August at Alex Sports Club. (Read this story to get more) While Winky D shone as always.
The Gafa hit maker, who performed soon after Jah Prayzah and later handed the microphone to Bennie Man, proved why he is considered the local dancehall Igwe (King) dressed in his ninja inspired red outfit.
He connected well with the audience who could be seen singing and dancing along during his entire set as he engraved his authority as a force to reckon with on the showbiz circuit.
No doubt Winky D has endeared himself well with fans.
This then begs the question, “Why are we headlining these international acts when they are just going to play second to some of our own?”
Of course the immediate answer is they bring the dollars. I am not sure if its the fans or the promoters at fault, but I think we could just market one show every year, where Winky D is the main act, bring in as much resources as they put when marketing these Jamaican acts. Even price it the same!
Most of these artists don’t even put as much effort into their performance as some of our own do. They have a free international act pass (artistic immunity some may say)!
With enough marketing and promotion the dancehall Igwe alone can fill HICC (ko why not?)
Winky D V Beenie Man
With all this said though, the truth of the matter is that we cannot compare Winky D to the likes of Beenie Man on any other stage that is not Zimbabwean, yet. Winky is a great artist and his biggest advantage over these international acts is the turf.
Sometimes just because Dembare fans are making the most noise at Rufaro Stadium doesn’t mean its better than the other team. Now when it comes to Winky D, his international profile is still low than that of these legends. Winky D is like Sadza every Zimbabwean knows it and its hard to imagine that some people don’t even know what that is. Its so popular here but exotic and uncommon in some places.
He has won over the locals, but are you sure if we put him in Tanzania the people will scream like Zimbos do? I know, you know somebody in Tanzania who loves Winky, but I am talking about a full large hall with no Zimbos?
This is when you realize our artists still have work to do. Facts still dictate that by any standard, except Saturday night’s performance, Beenie Man is still legend to Winky D.
Please note, this is an opinion piece, views represent those of the author and not necessarily DanceHallAfrika. Send in your articles to [email protected]