AWARD-WINNING South Africa-based Zimbabwean rapper King 98 last week wrote a piece of history when he parted with nearly $800 000 as he came to the rescue of fellow artistes, some elderly people in Rugare, Harare and 36 orphans and vulnerable children in his rural Chivhu home with a donation of groceries and cash in the wake of COVID-19.
It appears the month of May will always hold memories for the youthful rapper. It is in the same month last year that he launched his debut 14-track album, Francesca, at Wingate Golf Club in Harare supported by Nigerian superstar Davido and South African heavyweight Nasty C.
The 22-year-old King 98 by extending a helping hand to the needy in trying times, parting with funds he had set aside for his video shoot, has shown the way for many that beyond the music, one can show love to those who support him.
Many local musicians rely mainly on live shows to feed their families, but with the current lockdown put in place to curb the potential spread of the virus, entertainment hubs have been closed, leaving several musicians starved of cash.
Following an SOS from some of the hardest hit musicians, King 98 donated an assortment of groceries worth $10 000 each to fellow musicians Progress Chipfumo, Gift “Shiga Shiga” Katurika and former Black Spirits drummer Sam Mataure. On top of the groceries, the trio also received US$100 in cash each.
King 98 also brought smiles to two elderly people in Rugare high-demsity suburb in Harare with the donation of groceries worth $10 000 to each of them before travelling to Chivhu for another donation of groceries to the Alfred Dondo Foundation that takes care of 65 orphans and vulnerable children at Sadza Growth Point in Mashonaland East.
King 98’s donation to fellow artistes came against the backdrop of many musicians failing to benefit from the paltry arts relief fund that has been unveiled by the government amid allegations of too much bureaucracy in the distribution process of the financial rescue package which has left many hopeless.
King 98 also showed that indeed charity begins at home after he donated in his home area.
The rapper is on record that his mother taught him benevolence as the first principle in life, so he appears to have started the journey as he promised to do more from his savings time and again.
At such a tender age he demonstrated to fellow seasoned artistes that he is no doubt worthy of being celebrated on the showbiz scene and in society.
While many continue to put the arts motherbody, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), promoters or music associations under pressure, King 98 has at least well represented young artistes and revealed a maturity that lacks in most of our singers.
He has also proved that he relates well with artistes as evidenced by partnerships that have seen him recording a number of collaborations with some continental heavy weights.
Apart from collaborations, has been on a regional tour that has seen him taking his music to Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa and Nigeria sharing the stage with those countries’ heavy weights. King 98 has recorded a number of duets with the likes of South African hip-hop sensation Nasty C, LayLizzy of Mozambique and Nigerian superstar Davido whom he says is his music mentor and Zlatan Ibile.
Through the collaborations with the continental powerhouses, King 98’s aim is to revolutionise local hip-hop music and take his brand and music beyond the borders.
The rapper’s music is receiving airplay on both radio and television channels such as Channel O, MTV Base and Trace Africa. In the midst of the COVID-19, King 98 said he had not laid back, but was busy in the studio as he continues to add more songs on his growing catalogue.