WHILE still in his youth, his mother quickly realised the talent embodied in him. All that she did was to encourage him to attend regularly the Sunday service, just to entertain fellow Salvation Army church mates through song and praise.
Before he knew it, he sunk into it and his gift manifested into reality upon completion of his “A” Levels at Christian College in Masvingo.
This is from where he made a decision to move towards taking music professionally, though he was at the same time torn inbetween furthering his studies.
Meet Caleb Teneka, the rising reggae star who has come from humble beginnings to being a respected youth and icon even in his home town.
At the age of 31, he hasn’t been around for long, but has admittedly defied musical boundaries and proved why he is perhaps the most influential prolific artiste of this dancehall era.
After making an instant move from Masvingo to Harare in search of greener pastures musically, Caleb insists that it was tough and a rough patch, going through changes in his life on his way to the top.
He had to deal with consequences of moving to the capital without necessarily having at his disposal a single relative that he would turn to for assistance.
His only possession was his torn, old bag filled with a few clothes that he hoped to replace as soon as his fortunes changed.
By this time, he had recorded only one track, Nehanda, that he thought deserved to make him get heard.
However, one person who had vowed to assist is Rockford “Roki” Josphats, who was at this time staying at Soul Jah Love’s residence in Waterfalls with many other friends such as Mafriq, using the same apartment as a studio.
Caleb was relieved that he had somewhere to put his head, but more worries were yet to come as he had to strive to fulfil reasons for his journey motif.
“When I got here in Harare, things were tough my brother. I could go for days without a proper meal. It was hard trying to scavenge for a living, but I did not give up.
“The situation worsened because at some point, I was left homeless after Roki and friends moved to some apartment that could not accommodate all of us.
“I could go to Roki’s studio and record music then at night walk all the way to Jongwe Corner just to while up the night there,” said Caleb.
Things didn’t even change despite having got help from Soul Jah Love and Roki, the duo whom he credits for some of his new-found fame and expertise he currently enjoys.
However, Caleb maintains that this was only because the industry had not yet paid off for them like it has now.
Thinking that he would never make it in the city, even after having released the video for the song Nehanda, Caleb says things just suddenly changed one day.
This was after he was introduced to producers Fantan and Levels during Jah Love’s rise.
He recorded a track, Tokwe-Mukosi, that has made many music followers adore him.
“This record was like my lifetime exam. It just taught me different lessons. You can never make it the time you exactly wish, most of all, patience is a virtue and it pays off.
“I have become a public eye and most deejays are only starting to warm up to my music. Fans have appreciated and it has just opened avenues for me,” he said.
Caleb doesn’t want to be defined as a musician; music was simply the first medium he excelled in.
Caleb went to the school of journalism in South Africa where he studied media.
At the same time he is encouraging other artistes to push boundaries and dream big.
“It isn’t about money; it is about contributing something towards society and adding value to the lives in the community through music. At the end of the day you need to have contributed and gained something as well,” Caleb said.