By Lorraine Muwuya
The music career seems rosy for Terrence Mpakula, the real name for South Africa-based Zimbabwean music producer professionally known as Dr. Dread
Dr. Dread started music as a young boy where he joined the marimba band while in grade 4 at Shiriyedenga Primary School in Glen Norah and was then privileged to do piano lessons from grade 6.
He was also a part of the school choir and attained 4 units in grade 7. His parents bought him a Casio keyboard as a present. Because of his passion for music throughout high school, he was part of the male singing group CCAP Heavenly voices where he later became the group’s keyboard player besides singing (Tenor) when the group was still doing acapella in the beginning.
He was also a member of the church choir from a tender age. His first commercial-stage encounter was at the age of 17 when he met Kenny Mwanza (of the Midnight Magic fame) where they rocked Harare clubs and cashed so well on a weekly basis.
In May 1998, Dr. Dread was attracted to the reggae music that was ushered at the Bob Marley commemoration concert at Harare Zimbabwe. In May 1999 when the original Crucial Mix bassist Ras Kunta (Joel Simango) had travelled overseas and wasn’t coming back, Dr Dread became part of the reggae group as a bassist and mashed up at the 1999 Bob Marley commemoration concert as a bassist.
Dr. Dread went on to become a second keyboard player in the band when a Ras Uhuru (Webster) stepped in to replace Kunta. He then practiced with other bands now and again like Hohodza, Dumi Ngulube and Amagents, Transit Crew, Jnr Banton, and Just Friends, Mic Inity. As a young, dreadlock rasta, in 2003- 2004 Dr. Dread became a TV presenter at ZBC Television where he presented the “Rocker’s vibes”.
His first international encounter was when he had the opportunity to be Jamaican Luciano’s keyboard player when he visited Zimbabwe for the Jacaranda festival in 2007.
Currently, Dr. Dread plays the first keys for South Africa’s biggest reggae band All Nation Band, and doubles as a producer at his own Dread Productions Studio. To date he has worked with international greats such as Judy Boucher, Kenyatta Hill, Lutan Fyah and most recently King Sounds at Sand Festival, Salima, Malawi
In his recent production he has worked with artists from Benin namely Carlus Magnus and Sol Joyce who on the 12th of December 2020 received awards. The production consists of 12 International Artists from in and around Africa.