He has taken the music scene by storm with his controversially double-meaning Shona lyrics which are literally “correct” but which many feel have got vulgar connotations in reality. Jacob Moyana of the “Munotidako” fame recently met with our Entertainment Reporter Kumbirayi Shoniwa and discussed how he became such a controversial figure.
Kumbirayi Shoniwa (KS): Hallo mukoma Jacob how are you?
Jacob Moyana (JM): Hi Kumbi I’m fine thanks.
KS: Where were you born and how did you get into music?
JM: I was born in 1980 at Daisy Hill in Chipinge. Music has always been in my blood as my father and uncles were all musicians who played mbira, marimba and also guitars as I grew up. So I started being interested in music from a very young age.
KS: In 2002 you were in the band Tinashe Express which won the Chibuku Road to Fame competition. When did you decide to switch from the more traditional musical style to the current type of sungura which you sing now?
JM: I admit we were better at singing traditional music than we are in sungura. However, we recorded many songs which failed to please both fans and promoters so we changed style and that’s when Ghetto Express was born.
KS: When did you compose “Munotidako” and what inspired you to do so?
JM: I was in Beitbridge one day when I dreamt singing the chorus to the song and the trees and other plants in my dream would respond by jumping up and dancing along with me. The dream was very vivid so I woke up and immediately started practising the song with my band and we sang it that very night to the delight of the crowd at the show.
KS: The song has been described as vulgar. Did you sing those lyrics intentionally in order to cause controversy?
JM: Actually I never imagined it to gain so much popularity because I had many other songs which I had sung which I think are much better in terms of instruments and vocals. However, if you listen carefully you will notice that I was actually just singing in a dialect which is spoken by people in certain parts of the country without intending to raise eyebrows at all.
KS: So you mean you did not expect people to be shocked at the lyrics once they heard them?
JM: Well, I believe that Shona is a rich language which many people take for granted without realising that it can create many meanings. A lot of kids nowadays do not know how to talk in proper Shona so I think I am helping them learn their language.
KS: But your other songs also have very naughty titles including which have vulgar connotations despite their literal meanings which are not vulgar. Why do you maintain such controversy?
JM: I am just trying to prove a point that language is a funny thing. For example, listen to what people say everyday in public transport. I am a creative person who has been able to take what makes me feel happy and make others happy as well.
KS: Most artistes complain about piracy and how it is killing their revenue bases. How do you see the problem of piracy?
JM: To me piracy is actually a blessing in disguise because commuter omnibuses in Chiredzi, Masvingo and Beitbridge caused my music to become popular. In fact I did not even take my songs to radio but the pirates popularised it for me.
KS: There are reports that you had a war of words with Alick Macheso regarding your lyrics and type of music. What happened and who started this controversy?
JM: He is my senior and I respect him very much and I am actually in good books with him and look forward to working with him.
KS: Who has contributed to your success and what can we look forward to in the near future?
JM: I thank Sulumani Chimbetu and Biggie Chinoperekwei for encouraging me to come to Harare and giving me access to places where I perform my songs. I would also like to thank Hudson Mhlanga from Beitbridge for giving me material and moral support. Currently I am working on a video for “Kana Muchitidako” which is the real video not the fake one currently circulating.
KS: Thank you very much Jacob for your time and I wish you all the best in your future ventures.
JM: Thanks very much and have a nice day.