SOUTH AFRICA-BASED musician Dino Mudondo recently hogged the limelight after sending out an SOS in which he begged for assistance after the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa prevented him from earning a living through shows.
BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
The musician has over the years released hit tracks including Makorokoto, Makoikoi, Ndichakumirira and Jatropha.
Since 2002, he has released 18 albums. He speaks to NewsDay Weekender Life & Style about his career and current hardships…
The golden years
Like the saying goes, I made it home so I can make it anywhere else. The brand Dino is now close to two decades old having been born in the year 2000 with the release of my first gold album, Makorokoto, under the country’s largest recording company Gramma Records where not just any artiste could be signed up.
This was because it was home to heavyweight and big selling artistes like Simon Chimbetu, Leornard Dembo, System Tazvida, Tanga Wekwa Sando, Oliver Mtukudzi, the Charambas, Ngwenya Brothers and Andy Brown, to mention a few.
But I saw myself being one of the few young artistes to be signed by Gramma Records and my very first album Makorokoto did very well with the album title track topping all radio stations charts and as a wedding song, it became a favourite. It’s the same album that included the monster track and all-time classic, Chirangano. There was no province in Zimbabwe where I was not invited for live gigs.
And moving down south was just necessitated by career change because I had to come and do a bit of learning and working in the field of marketing, but I have never put the microphone down.
The COVID-19 SOS
You will notice that many artistes have been doing some social media live shows to entertain most of you in the comfort of your homes. However, most of these have no monetary results. One still needs to pay for the WiFi and data for live streaming.
And a financial back up is needed for such kind of acts, for example, to boost views like a lot of artistes are doing. If you don’t clock over 10 000 views people will laugh at you and say you have no following when those views are bought by money (through boosting).
I would rather do a fair deal and perform for my fans without being compared or judged by those with money to boost their views. I’ve seen artistes who can’t attract just 100 paying audience members for their live shows attracting over 15 000 views online, which is an obvious result of boosting.
Having been mostly depending on money I make from live performances, the COVID-19 has affected my welfare as well as that of my family and band members. Now I can only hope and pray to the Almighty God to intervene.
Before COVID-19, I was planning to shoot two videos to promote my latest album, No Lumo, but now everything is on hold because of the lockdown. However, I am at home looking forward to a proposed project by Boss T1, for which we will do just two opening singles, Amapiano track with DJ Mapolisa featuring Mafikizolo if funds permit.
We also have a video for Malevels on Trace Africa channel. The second single is a reggae dancehall track. I have also been working on two English songs for a while now and I think they are ripe and ready to be recorded and a good Jamaica style video will also put us right back on track and then we later focus on an all reggae album and projects and establish ourselves as an Afro-centric reggae band.
After relocating to South Africa in 2015, I took a break of close to five years from mainstream music but I was still doing some small gigs in Cape Town with a reggae outfit called Hotter Fire band, writing songs for them and doing part-time jobs.
I enrolled in a college to further my education after getting an LCCI Marketing Diploma and I have also been doing some audio and visual studies at a music college with a dream to open my own studio one day.
But all this time the stage and mic kept calling me back and it took me a year to work on my comeback album, No Lumo, which I am encouraging all my fans to listen to.