By Edward Major Kuyipa
“If music be the food of love then play on,” so remarked the “Bard UponAvon” William Shakespeare, playwright and poet.
A 26 year old musician cum playwright cum director in the tradition of the Bard Upon Avon and Spike Lee is invading the Zimbabwean arts industry this festive season, like a Tyrannosaurs Rex and similar to Thor he is promising to bring thunder, through online releases of short films and music.
Tafadzwa Kanjirai aka RGK is propounding a novel and remarkably exceptional development in the arts sector, which has been limping behind its bullish big brothers: Agriculture, Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Tourism and Hospitality and Education. A sector that has also been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, denying musicians the rich pickings provided by revellers attending shows in night clubs, stadia and churches. The lockdown has also been a constraint to RG’s entrée into the music industry in of all years 2020 the year of COVID-19.
“Arts are strategic despite the fact that there was at one time a resounding cry for STEM, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. However, arts are the central nervous system of our culture and society, as well as the inspiration behind infrastructure from buildings to bridges. We are because the arts: from music to poetry -which is the epicentre of music on the basis of it being the best words in their best order: visual arts inclusive of pottery, weaving, sculpture and painting.
“If Abba could contribute to the Swedish economy, if Hollywood is creating billions for California and the US economy , Zimbabwe in which mega movies like King Solomon’s mines and Cry the Beloved Country, and historical concerts that brought the likes of Tracy Chapman, Bruce Springsteen into the country can benefit significantly from the arts”.
RGK is a visionary and vibrant young artist who is into music and dramas. In addition to singing and playing the Mbira – our African Piano, he has produced and directed a number of fully inspired dramas that include Kuromba, Robbery, Utsotsi, Nyama, and Sadza.
His short films focus on social and controversial issues including the stormy issue of people who seek to get rich through ritual killing (Kuromba) and the impact of poverty (Kana Usina Mari). RG’s short films will be available before Christmas on social media platforms that include YouTube and Facebook. This will provide entertainment for families throughout the country during the festive season, whilst those in the diaspora will get a feel of home as they stream the short films.
RG who calls his music Blue Sky, has released the food of love in the form of NdegaNdega, ChipikoChemoyo, Kana Usina Mariand Popo Popois gradually rising to be an earthquake in the music sector, of strong seismic level. NdegaNdega implies being alone, but going forward like Liverpool the youthful artist will not walk alone.
Once the COVID-19 restraints end he looks forward to live performances and sharing the stage with the who is who of the music industry as he traverses the country, wooing the hearts of the young and old in all the provinces.