Kundai Marunya,Arts Correspondent
Music often speaks volumes and can reach a greater audience than speeches and mere utterances.
Even the great South African nationalist, Nelson Mandela, once attested to this fact.
I believe if he had heard dancehall musician Winky D’s latest offering “Njema” he would have had a different perception.
No musician in the past had attracted such huge interest even from the police to merely discuss security concerns. Such was the impact of “Njema” before release.
After a first listen, one would feel disappointed, not because the album is a total disaster but because it is just average.
It is not a great album and it is not of the calibre we have grown used to getting from Winky D, a legend in his own right.
For an artist who gave us songs such as “Disappear” which found itself on the BBC radio charts, one would expect an explosion of brilliance and creativity something that is just absent in songs such as “Ndidye Mari”, “Chandelier”, and “Area 51”.
“Area 51” sounds like something ripped off from “Gaffa Futi”, and just does not fit to the freedom theme of “Njema”.
Why go back to a theme he long exhausted some four years ago, and revisiting it with a really bad song?
Hearing that Winky D worked with some other producers apart from Oskid who dominated his last albums, one would expect a change in sound. It is now difficult to tell apart most of his songs.
One should however, not be quick in dismissing “Njema” as it also comes with some really good songs with great messages that resonate well with people in different situations. Some may say the lyrics are politically-charged, but it is always up to the consumer to decipher the meanings.
Some would be quick to associate it with the regime change agenda, while others would argue that “Njema” actually speaks of freeing oneself from neo-colonialism.
Freeing one from the school of thought that to succeed, one needs to use juju.
It advocates a revisit of traditions that include invoking ancestors for solutions to problems, cleansing ceremonies and payment of lobola among other things.
Its richness also lies in always staying positive, well articulated in “Battery” and “Sekai”.
One may not like all the songs but the album definitely has something for everyone.
It is not great, but also not terrible.
We expected better from Winky D.