By Fred Zindi
WITH the continued surge of the coronavirus pandemic, it is understandable if some musicians decide to quit the industry due to lack work. Their fans will forgive them if they decide to seek other sources of livelihood.
When Enzo Ishall made the announcement that he was quitting the music industry late last year, the news left everybody, including me, aghast.
I kept wondering if he was playing psychological games with us because at that point Enzo had grown to be as big, if not bigger, than the late Soul Jah Love in the Zimdancehall sector. Or was he just testing the reaction of his fan base?
Remember in September 2021, I wrote about Enzo I Shall’s decision to quit music. I added that it was not going to be an easy decision for him, I said: “ I have a sneaky feeling that Enzo Ishall will come back to us again in the near future with some new releases which will undoubtedly become monster hits.” Well, after that announcement, the man never quit. He was seen on several occasions giving performances at various venues which included a church gathering at Prophet Edd’s Jesus Generation International Ministries in Rajiv Ghandi Hall at the Harare’s showgrounds; and only last month, he was performing at Tich Mharadze’s Odyssey Night Club in Kadoma. This year he has given a performance at the ‘Siki’ Live Performance Concert at King Fisher’s.
I listened very closely to an interview Enzo (real name: Kudzanai Stephen Mamhare) did with Star FM’s KVG in August last year when he announced that he was quitting the music industry.
Enzo was not straight-forward with the reasons why he told the nation that he had decided to quit music. However, speculation was rife about why Enzo Ishall decided to announce this. Some say that his father, Mr Mamhare, did not like what his son had become as he was watching what was appearing in the press on him so closely, especially on issues to do with his married life and sex life. For a traditional father, exposing one’s sexual life to the public was a bit too much. It is rumoured that his father summoned him and ordered him to quit music with immediate effect. He obeyed as he did not want any rift between himself and his parents but after pressure from his many frustrated fans and advice from many quarters, he decided to stay on. That boils down to the fact that the decision to quit was not his.
He should come out now and tell everybody why he rescinded that decision. Admit it, while we may be the type that makes quicker decisions, we all have moments of indecision. I think Enzo should have given that decision careful thought before the announcement.
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Have you ever met an indecisive person? You know the type. The person who couldn’t make a decision if their life depended on it. We’re only talking about a minor decision, not something life-altering, yet they just can’t make up their mind. For some of us, that person will frustrate us to no end! That is what we call a vaccilating person.
Even the most decisive person will have times of indecision. Sometimes this is due to confusion. There are also times when one does not want to make a decision because of what may result from it.
Indecisiveness can show up in many ways other than the frustrating type where a person can’t decide what to order at a restaurant.
There is a huge difference between being indecisive about what to order off a restaurant menu as it affects one person only but when it comes to a larger decision such as making a serious commitment (such as quitting the music industry), careful thought must be put into it as it affects many people in your life.
Very often an indecisive person is going through a crisis, and often needs help.
You can express yourself to the person in a sharp tone, such as “Just make a decision man. You can’t tell us one thing today and do the opposite the next day!” Or you can be patient with them and try to help.
Enzo Ishall is the guy who gave us hits such as Kanjiva, Magate, Smart Inotangira Kutsoka, Chimuti, Vanodheerera (Hausi Muroyi) UriKutsvireiko and Vakamhanya Makarimwa within a short period of time.
With such hits, Enzo had become a powerful force within Zimbabwe, especially among the ghetto youths.
I have been watching this young man from the early stages during the Kanjiwa days and suggested straight away that he was talented and had a future in music. I told him so and even recommended him to the adjudicators of the NAMA Awards which resulted in him bagging one in 2018.
However,after the events in 2018, it looks like Enzo needs serious counselling. First of all, there was talk about him and his wife splitting up as a result of the video he produced on 50 Magate. Then there was the incident in Sunningdale where he was attacked by a gang of five men who posed as his fans but were eventually exposed as his rivals. Then it is also alleged that the songs Kumisa Ngoro and Highest Score recorded after his deal with Passion Java were banned from airplay by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Censorship Entertainment and Control Unit because they had vulgar and satanic lyrics. The censorship board overlooked the fact that Enzo is a creative artiste and can get over-excited when he writes songs such as Bhiza Rinoda Mutasvi.
..One has to have people they trust who are knowledgeable in the industry who can give guidance or advice. Because thinking you are great is only useful if you are. Who knows? Nobody here does. “Follow your dreams” is fluff advice – survivorship bias at best, and magical thinking at worst. People who are successful will often believe they are successful because of some virtue of what they do, and sometimes that’s true, but often it’s just dumb luck followed by self-congratulation. I have come across many great musicians who are paupers today because they did not get the opportunities that people like Enzo had. Who would have known about Enzo IShall if he had not held the microphone? Who would have known that Enzo IShall will tour Australia and the United Kingdom if he was not a musician? All these things were brought about by the fact that he became a musician.It is a dream come true for many youngsters. It was a great opportunity to associate himself with the likes of Levels and Fantan at Chillspot Records. So why make an announcement to kill this opportunity?
However, as often happens in the music business, with the success he had achieved in 2018 and 2019, the young artiste started to spoil it by riding roughshod over the advice he was getting from experienced artistes and others. He moved from one management to another. He left Chillspot for controversial cleric Passion Panganayi Java and then moved from him to Teemak Management which also let him down. As Seh Calaz put it: “Enzo must create his own brand and stop being signed season after season everywhere as if he is a soccer player.”
However, Enzo has now realised thatthere is no coasting period. My advice to Enzo is: -“Whether or not your phone is ringing constantly, you still have to do the gigs at a high level. If you stop caring about that it will be obvious. What you can achieve is being well-thought-of in your field – someone who does great stuff understands the arc of a show and the business end.As long as the industry can support it and as long as people want to hear what you do, you can work. Right now, there is no looking back. You still have a big fan base and that is crucial.
Being in the moment is wonderful, but sometimes you have to ask where the moment leads.
And even though I’m telling you all this because I think it’s worth something — don’t ask me about these things — talk to people who do it. And don’t ask them what you should do — you aren’t a wind-up toy. Ask them about what they do and why.
My advice to Enzo is that he should stop vaccilating. Get to work, or don’t. But don’t feel like you have to make all-or-nothing decisions about anything right now. You have to eat, too. Chirauro muri kukanda boss (Throw in the fishing rod) That will make you eat.
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