Winky D shall die. And so shall we all.Oh, wait. Perhaps I started this analysis right in the middle of the thought process. Perhaps we need to start from the absolute beginning, shall we not? Ironically, this piece, which started running through my mind when I was walking through a lavatory a few days ago already had some gems that ran through my mind. And a name kept recurring to me. Leonard Dembo.
Interestingly, as I pen this, the blaring music of Leonard Dembo is playing at some cheap downtown-like shop across the office.
It is a sound that can best be described as “made in heaven”, where, interestingly, I suppose “Dembo” himself now resides.
When Winky D released the video to his epic catchy song “Ngirozi” early this week, the usual suspects came out of the woodwork as thought maggots tend to do and they were all experts armed with their analyses of how well, or badly, Winky had done in his latest video.
Granted, Winky D has never been the doyen of making stellar video accompaniments to his music. And not surprisingly, one hardly recalls off the top of the head, Winky having won anything for anything cinematographic.
So when “Ngirozi” was released, many went to town about how bad the video was and how much of a train wreck it was.
To be fair; it wasn’t a train wreck at all. And all who follow Winky D’s videography would not be too far off the mark to hold their jewels in their hands and actually declare that this could be his best video to date in fact!
I will be braver than that. Or perhaps more aptly, stupid, and declare that it is in fact a perfect video and here is why.
Ngirozi is a musical gem. It shall no doubt go into the annals of musical history as a seismic and music age shifting song in the history of Zimbabwean music. We are lucky to have been born in the age that such a type of culture shifting song has been made.
There have been few songs that will last forever made by the new crop. Tocky Vibes and “Mhai”. Soul Jah Love and “Pamamonya Ipapo”, which a nut or two at Nama insists is not an epic song of the year (but look, I am digressing already. It’s time to leave the Nama judges in the metal asylum where they ought to be for that decision now). Winky D and “Ngirozi” is one such defining gem.
Returning back to where my thought process started and a name pops up. Leonard Dembo.
Dembo, with “Chitekete”, made an anthem that moved the soul and probably is arguably the biggest love song to come out of Zimbabwe.
True, many others have been melodic. Others have been more passionate. Others sexier and more lyrically dexterous. But none other has captured a nation, region and beyond as has “Chitekete”. But for all his perfection, Dembo did not gift us with a cinematographic accompaniment for it. No video to further engrave it as one of the best and induct it in the hall of fame as a full product.
He risked dying with it. And it is only because it is a strong composition that it is living today two decades after Dembo’s demise. It is criminal that Dembo did not leave the world a video to capture his art in “Chitekete”.
It would have been equally criminal for Winky D to not make a video for such a game-changer in the world of music.
Winky D will die. But three hundred years from now, a new generation of Zimbabwean will rise and know that there was once a “Gombwe” and musical god who touched hearts with his epic song and captured it in an alien, backward but visual art called video. He has made a gift for the ages.
Others said there was a hideous use of the drone which was needless.
If ever there was a song in Zimbabwe that demands the use of a drone, it is “Ngirozi”. How else do you create an image and feeling of an angel descending except by use of a drone?
The crisis in Zimbabwe has sadly become that there is nothing that can ever be done without attracting an often needless over-analysis or a tearing down.
Perhaps what we need to know is that Winky D’s perfection in the video comes from the fact that thanks to the video, he has been immortalised and has immortalised his song. Winky D will die but not “Ngirozi”. The haters who have launched attacks on his video will also die. And so will their opinions on their Facebook statuses. A painful truth!
Perfection sometimes is creating a multiple award winning production. But sometimes perfection is just getting the job done. A perfect birth is not giving birth to a baby with blue eyes, pink lips and ruby cheeks. It is just giving birth to a child that can laugh and cry like any other child.
The challenge now is to keep encouraging the art of video accompaniments for art in music. These artistes are making great videos despite piracy and a thankless audience that speaks and judges as if they themselves are perfect in artistry. And even though video may not bring back any returns, artistes like Winky should continue to make them to ensure that we never lose gems as we did with the loss of artistes like Leonard Dembo.