Music remains the most effective entertaining tool
Today’s youth, passionately known as Ama2K or Gen Z, are generally full of life and eager to explore the world. Born after the year 2000, they are digital natives who have never known a world without computers. This sets them apart from the previous generation, who grew up in a more analog world.
During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, people were vulnerable, but music helped many maintain their sanity. The digital age brought improved access to information, forcing the public to become up-to-date and conform to the new normal.
McDonald Chikwepi, a 20-year-old singer from Gweru featured in this article, is passionate about a career in media studies and becoming a TV and radio personality. His love for music began at an early age in primary school, when he remixed popular songs.
“When I started secondary school, I joined forces with a classmate who was also into music. We recorded our first song and introduced it to our school, where it became a hit. This motivated me to do more, and in 2020, I professionally entered the music industry by joining the Frosties Arts Association. Since then, I have released 11 songs, 5 singles and 6 collaborations.”
“During lockdown, my musical career was disrupted by the lack of shows and limited studio time due to curfew orders. However, I made the most of the time by learning more about music, perfecting my craft, and collaborating with my producer. I also stayed entertained with movies and music, and found solace in reading and cooking,” he said.
Maki Wacho’s inspiration is drawn from many local musicians with special mention to the late legend Oliver Mtukudzi, Jah Prayzah and Winky D.
“l have performed at weddings, modelling shows, church all-night prayers, workshops and shared the stage with the JPC choir, Xiddo, Leefire and Bazooker,” he said.
McDonald’s versatility is evident in his ability to master a variety of genres, including Afropop, Zim dancehall, Hip hop, Gospel, and Amapiano.
Building one’s life around one’s purpose can bring joy and happiness. Some young people are more concerned with spending time with friends than with their siblings. However, for Maki Wacho, it was because of the time he spent with his siblings that he discovered his passion for cooking. As the firstborn, he was responsible for his siblings when his mother was out.
The passionate young artist has remixed Ayra Star’s “Rush” featuring Bliss. The remix, titled “Muroad,” is about a guy who is always on the road to see his girlfriend. Another of his songs currently playing on the Great Dyke community radio YaFM is Horrific Life which is about the challenges, the problems he encounters in his musical journey and personal life.
Every content creator needs a marketing strategy that works. Maki Wacho’s music is available on Facebook and Instagram as Maki Wacho McDonald, and on TikTok and YouTube as simply Maki Wacho. Currently, Maki Wacho is limited to a few shows and social radio airplay, but he continues to write new music.
In all his musical adventures, McDonald acknowledges the support he gets from his family. “My family and friends have always been supportive of my musical career. Whenever I have a show, they make sure I am well-dressed and have eaten properly. They also understand when I come home late. My friends often accompany me to shows, which boosts my confidence. Whenever I release a song, they help me market it by posting it on their social media platforms. However, to reach a wider audience, I need the support of radio stations, national TV, and big social media pages or platforms,” he said.
Even though he is still learning the ropes in the industry he shared advice with fellow youths who may be passionate about music.
“Many young artists feel discouraged when their voice doesn’t sound like their favorite artist’s. They feel like they’re not good enough, but every voice is as unique as our fingerprints. So work on your voice and be confident in it,” he said.
Locally Maki Wacho draws inspiration from the Joyful Praise Choir.
“I admire their hard work and dedication. They have put Gweru and Midlands on the map musically. I would love to collaborate with them. Internationally, I would like to collaborate with Khaid. He is a talented young artist with good character and humility,” said Maki Wacho.
Through the mentorship of Frosties Arts Association, who have become family, Mr and Mrs Frost helped with invaluable advice, connections to key individuals, and financial assistance. Since joining the group, he has gained respect in his community. “I want to express gratitude to the people who have helped me in my musical career and continue to help me: Taku the MC, my producer DJ Max, DJ Asatee, Mr. and Mrs. Frost, Pastor Tee, and most importantly, God,” he said.