20 years of Ghettocracy: Winky D’s matured generational legacy

Winky D's songs have served as a source of inspiration and a beacon of hope for many, providing a voice to the voiceless and challenging the status quo.

"IT'S me, Winky D the poor people's devotee," declared a raw and conscious 20-year-old Winky D on songs such as Make up your mind, Inna the ghetto, Dem no wrong, and Battle for the future, off his debut album The Devotee.

With The Devotee,  Winky D established himself as a champion of the poor and a voice for the people of the ghetto.

The 16-track album, produced by Blacklab Records, marked the beginning of Winky D's unwavering commitment to speaking out for the marginalised and oppressed. His music has been a consistent reflection of the everyday struggles faced by ordinary Zimbabweans, addressing issues like poverty, unemployment, political repression, and corruption.

Winky D's songs have served as a source of inspiration and a beacon of hope for many, providing a voice to the voiceless and challenging the status quo.

Winky D's music has not been without its critics. He has been accused of inciting violence and of being too critical of the government. However, he has remained undeterred, continuing to speak his truth despite the risks.

Winky D's legacy is sure to live on for generations to come. His music will continue to inspire and empower Zimbabweans to fight for a better future.

Winky D, also known as "The Gaffa," is gearing up to celebrate two decades of music with a special performance at the Harare International Conference Centre on New Year's Eve. Dubbed "Ghettocracy Score: Reading through the pages of Rokesheni," the event is expected to mark the launch of a new album and reflect on Winky D's unwavering commitment to addressing the social and political issues facing Zimbabwe.

The term "ghettocracy" was first coined by the American sociologist William Julius Wilson in his 1987 book The Truly Disadvantaged. Wilson used the term to describe the conditions in some inner city neighborhoods in the United States, where he argued that a small group of men had formed a "street elite" that controlled the drug trade and other illicit activities. This street elite, Wilson argued, was able to use its power to maintain its own wealth and status, while excluding others from opportunities for advancement.

Ghettocracy can be seen as a form of social stratification in which there is a sharp divide between the haves and the have-nots. The ruling class in a ghettocracy typically wields a great deal of power, and it is often able to use this power to its own advantage. The have-nots, on the other hand, are often marginalized and excluded from political participation. This can lead to a number of problems, including poverty, crime, and social unrest.

Winky D's music has consistently addressed the realities of ghettocracy in Zimbabwe, a country crippled by corruption, drug peddling, unemployment and maladministration in the government.

In a two-minute, 50-second documentary, Winky D reflects on his 20 years in the music industry, demonstrating that he may be a contemporary artist, but his music is a generational legacy, a message, and a set of teachings that will be passed down through the ages.

Winky D uses the metaphor of a wine bottle to convey that after 20 years of making music, he has matured into a refined product that can be passed down through generations. Ironically, the artists’ last show at the HICC was titled Redefined Concert.’  The  documemtary documentary symbolically depicts the birth of Winky D's career in 2004 when his parents received a bottle from the "authorities," with his mother, played by Samantha Kureya, placing it on a shelf.

As he grows up, his father summons him, retrieves the bottle, and hands it over to him 20 years later. This scene represents the passing of time and the maturation of both Winky D as an artist and his music.

The narrator explains that Winky D's music, "Feeding from the daily teachings of anguish and drinking from strife", "serves as a mirror of the ghetto, reflecting his conflicts, attacks, and skirmishes with the "authority," and how everything designed to destroy him ultimately empowered him.

Another significant statement in the documentary is “Authority gifts a generational legacy for maturation." In this instance, 'authority' refers to God, who has bestowed upon us a generational legacy in the form of Winky D.

This quote, "Authority bestows a generational legacy for maturation," can be traced back to the American educator and philosopher Mortimer J. Adler that appears in his seminal work, "The Art of Education," published in 1990. In the context of the book, Adler emphasizes the crucial role of authority in imparting knowledge and fostering intellectual growth across generations.

Similar to how the contents of wine or fine whiskey remain unchanged but are refined by time, Winky D's music has only improved with age. Now, everyone can savour the taste of this matured wine as he guides us through his 20-year journey, seen through the lens of Rokesheni (ghetto).

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