They say a prophet gets no recognition in his hometown. Never before in my life has this statement been so true. From the day I discovered hiphop at 10 years old and decided I wanted to write and rap and perform in front of crowds to 2012 when I created a local platform called Mellow Creme’s Love and Hiphop. I have always seen myself as somewhat forward thinking and dreaming the impossible. Call me arrogant or self centred all you want but I related to Kanye West when he called himself a god at some stage in his career. Why does my world seem so small when my gift is so big? Why does Zimbabwe seem so narrow minded when they are rich with so much talent? Hiphop is a culture that embraces diversity so much but is marginalized so much too in my land. Show after show, upload after upload, my countrymen would say ‘Yeah he nice but why not rap in vernacular or why wont he go dancehall like everybody else (what’s worse is I have pretty long dreadlocks) or why is his sound not ‘current’ like the trap music that the youngsters follow nowadays?
Then the call came. April 2019 I got a call from Phumzile the events manager at GOG Gardens Soweto and she asked if I could fly to South Africa and be part of their Africa Day Invasion representing Zimbabwe. I wasn’t the main act. I know I’m not there yet. But boy oh boy. Opening up for Cassper Nyovest, Samthing Soweto and King Khuzani was the best way I could start my Nakedivity tour. I gladly said yes and my South African manager, Rhoda, would whatsapp call everyday just to make sure I’m rehearsing right. She didn’t have to though. I had and will always have the best musical tagteam, my band director and producer, Sir Fletcher.
The show was set for Africa Day, May 25, and we arrived at OR Tambo airport on Friday the 24th. Antonio picked us up and Dave Dupreez drove us to our hotel room (shout out to Sierra Hotel for the lovely service) and then to see the venue and sound check. All along I kept asking myself, if I’m not the main act and South Africans are giving me such a beautiful welcome how are the 3 main performers being treated (food for thought). That night I didn’t sleep well at all. The bathroom was my friend as I kept doing a number 2 even though I hadn’t eaten much. They call them butterflies but aint nothing pretty about them.
Saturday came and we got to the venue a bit extra early. Too excited to wanna be late. This helped though coz we got to be acquainted to the staff and security at GOG Gardens Soweto. Friendly bunch of mixed tribes. We chilled and watched other acts from the VIP section at Engadini which is a lifestyle platform in the heart of the venue. When our time came Rhoda gave me a shot of my favorite alcohol, Hennessy, and history was made. I have never had such a beautiful reception in my life. Nothing against my local crowd. I have had shows in Zambia and it was good too but this was extra special. For the first time I had a crowd full of total strangers who I swear had never heard my music before. We went acoustic coz we couldn’t fly the whole band. So it was Fletcher on guitar and backing vocals and just me on centre stage (nervous as hell). By the 4th line of She Gimme Reason the crowd had started clapping their hands to the rhythm to give us the drum beat we didn’t have. By the 2nd chorus they were singing along and all my butterflies had flown away. I was home. South Africa felt home. Twenty minutes on a huge ass stage called The Dome and I felt like the main act at Coachella. I wish I had another hour with these guys but we had to follow the program but I cant wait to go back and spend more time.
It’s official. South Africa loves good music. South Africa loves Hiphop music. And South Africa loves Mellow Creme. Thank you for bringing back the faith. Thank you for showing me the king I always knew I was.
Africa’s number one lover emcee, Mellow Creme