BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
SOUTH AFRICA-BASED Zimbabwean hip-hop artiste Ngonidzashe “King 98” Dondo appears to have mastered the art of regional collaborations in order to make inroads into the cut-throat music industry, if a string of his partnerships are anything to go by.
The 21-year-old rapper on Friday released another duet with Nigerian singer Zlatan Ibile titled Pull Up that has an accompanying video, adding to his growing catalogue.
After the release of his debut, a 14-track album titled Francesca three months ago, which also features some regional heavyweights, King 98 has not laid back.
So far, King 98 has collaborated with South African hip-hop sensations Nasty C, LayLizzy of Mozambique and another Nigerian superstar Davido, who he describes as his music mentor.
The singer’s manager, Dee Nosh, told NewsDay Life &Style that they aimed to revolutionise local hip-hop music through collaborations with continental powerhouses.
“As King 98 camp, our quest is to take our brand and music to the people not only in Zimbabwe, but across the continent and fly the country’s flag high on the music scene. So, to achieve these goals and objectives, we have considered collaborations as the formula to accomplish our mission ,and that is exactly what we are doing,” he said.
“We are happy that our plans are going according to script and our growing fan base is actually giving positive feedback. That is really giving us the strength to work even harder to position ourselves well in this competitive industry, though we are not in competition with anyone.”
Dee Nosh said they will continue to network with both local and international artistes promoting King 98’s music and brand.
“Apart from the collaborations, we believe there is a lot to learn, especially from these seasoned artistes who have travelled a better journey than King 98,” he said.
“I learnt that the best in Africa are concerned about uplifting others and they are always willing to go out of their way to help. What makes it special is that I am not even Nigerian, but Davido really loved the song and my vision,” he said.
The youthful rapper, whose music is receiving fair play on both radio and television, recently told NewsDay Life & Style that he would leave no stone unturned to put Zimbabwe on the global map.
Apart from collaborations, he has also been on a regional tour that has seen him take his music to Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa and Nigeria, sharing the stage with artistes in those countries.