Vongai Mbara Arts Reporter
The Zimbabwean reggae scene is proving to be a robust attraction spot. Over the years, international artistes have been coming to Zimbabwe for shows, serenading music lovers in a big way.
In the same breadth, the country has also witnessed the growth of the reggae genre through the entrance of new local players. One such upcoming reggae musician Don Franco Tafari, born Francis Lucas Dumhi, who a Zimbabwean reggae artist based in South Africa, is raising the country’s flag high.
He has become a household name in the region. His music is being played worldwide and some of his videos are aired on Trace Urban. He has worked with dancehall greats that include Sizzla Kalonji and Fanton Mojah.
He even toured with Megah Button and Turbulence and his extended play, EP sold 319 000 copies on iTunes and one of his tracks has been used as a sound track for a Costa Rican radio show. Don Franco only started his musical career five years ago and gives credit to his musical family for his success.
“I was born a musician and I was lucky to have been born in a musical family. Growing up, I would always read cuttings from my uncle who was a retired musician. I remember looking at a newspaper cutting of my uncle with Bob Marley in 1979 when Bob Marley visited Ethiopia and I knew I wanted to be a professional musician,” said Don Franco. Currently based in South Africa, Don Franco says living in a foreign currently has its own challenges.
“The main challenge in SA is you have an international spotlight so there is a certain sound that they appreciate and for you to make two separate sounds, will get people confused,” he said. Currently, Don Franco is lined up for an African tour, which will afford him an opportunity to meet his Zimbabwean fans.
“I believe in Jah time, all dots will connect. Zimbabwe has produced some of the best musicians in Africa and I keep practising till I get to that level of those who came before me. Early next year, I will engage on an African tour to promote my debut album before I go on my European tour. I am happy that my music is being played worldwide and I cannot wait to meet my fans,” said Don Franco.