DJ TAPS, as Tapiwa Mazenge is popularly known may not make headline entertainment news in the public media, but his magic often carries the soundtracks of top musicians such as ExQ, Stunner, Killer T, Shinsoman, Tocky Vibes, Soul Jah Love, Sanii Makhalima, Leonard Mapfumo and Nutty O.
BY PRUDENCE MUGANIWAH
DJ Taps has also worked with seasoned reggae selector Jezz The Don Dada as well as the talented DjFantaFire from BlazeDem Family Entertainment based in Dubai.
The wheel spinner recalls that his passion for sound has always run deep from infancy.
“My passion for music has been existent for as long as I can remember. I was the kid that would make beats off the coffee table or hit anything that makes a sound, even my teeth!” he said.
The Buhera-born artiste wears several caps as a DJ, master of ceremonies, songwriter and video director.
Although he started off as a data entry clerk and then worked as primary school teacher before a stint at a local health insurance firm, DJ Taps’ move to Dubai a few years ago rejuvenated his passion for music.
“I began assisting fellow artistes perform in Dubai, thereby giving birth to the whole DJ Taps DJ Zvese Zvese break out. I worked with some of the greatest music promoters in Zimbabwe, the likes of Simba Body Slam, with whom I combined efforts and formed BodySlam-BhooSkiri, a collaboration between a fashion label I founded with my brother, Trust Mazenge. This saw us promoting a host of Zimbabwean artistes that wanted to perform in the Middle East,” he said.
His desire is to bring high values and professionalism onto the Zimbabwean arts scene using the skills he has acquired over the last few years.
Settling in the Middle East, however, has not been easy. DJ Taps says earning recognition as an online DJ and MC so far away from home was a tall order.
Working in Dubai, he said, has had a profound impact on him.
“Having spent a significant number of years working in such a multi-cultural environment as Dubai, I have learnt to appreciate that we are all the same regardless of race or culture,” he said.
His greatest achievement has been in the people who follow his work, with his presence on social media having attracted a large following especially on Facebook.
This has seen DJ Taps launching the lunchtime Nash Paints Lunch Show sessions during which he plays music and responds to various music requests from Zimbabweans living in different parts of the world.
“Music to me is an assignment and I put pressure on myself to deliver all the time. My vision is to create an atmosphere, an environment whereby people can escape from their worrisome day-to-day goings on and just have a moment to themselves to appreciate life and come out of it feeling refreshed and eager to spread the same positivity to the next person and the next until it’s a culture everyone can relate to,” the versatile DJ said.
DJ Taps, who is married to Nyarayi Debra Mutamangira (Miss Purple) grew up in Chinhoyi.
He cut his music teeth in church because his parents were elders at Zaoga FIF Church. He started off as a drummer in the praise and worship team, a role which he says brought him closer to music as he later discovered he could also sing and write his own songs.
His first public performance was for a church project meant to fundraise for the purchase of a bus for the then newly-opened Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (Zegu), in which Zaoga FIF Youths International members were coming together to perform.
Currently working on a Nash Paints initiative Tisu Taipenda Competition, which requires entrants to write compelling testimonies on behalf of people that they feel deserve to have their houses painted by Nash Paints for free, DJ Taps said he has heard deeply touching stories which make him fall in love with his job even more.
In his parting shot, he said: “Never let a day pass without learning something new and never look down upon anyone for you know not the contents of tomorrow.”