Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
UNITED Kingdom-based reggae/dancehall DJ Kivo Santana, who jetted into the country on Wednesday, says he wants to uplift up-and-coming Zimdancehall artistes whom he believes have what it takes to be competitive on the international scene.
Born, Cornelius Kelvin Makanza, Kivo who has been promoting Zimdancehall in the UK by hosting shows and playing the genre’s artistes’ music at various spots there, was met at the Robert Mugabe International Airport by the ChillSpot Family.
He is expected to perform at Freeman’s launch at Old Hararians Sports Club today alongside South Africa’s Donald, Baba Harare, Nutty O, Tocky Vibes, Soul Jah Love, Trevor Dongo and fellow DJs Fydale, Abisha Palmer, King Alfred and Too Bad among others.
Kivo, a protégé of the Red Foxx dancehall movement, said he was thrilled to be performing at the launch as this would bring him closer to local artistes.
Having been groomed by the likes of Robert Zhuwao who is one of the Zimdancehall pioneers, Kivo, who has also worked closely with renowned UK-based dancehall DJ, Chris Goldfinger, said it was now his turn to promote up-and-coming talent in the local music industry.
“I’m excited to be home as I’ll meet up-and-coming artistes who are keeping the Zimdancehall genre alive and find ways to promote them. As I’m growing older, I feel I need to have a serious impact and influence in the way Zimbabwean music is being produced so that it penetrates the international market. That’s why I’m in Zimbabwe to impart my knowledge and skills,” Kivo said.
He said he has been working with Freeman for a number of years and has watched him grow.
“Freeman is a good friend of mine. I like his works and I’ve been working closely with him, advising and using my influence on the international scene to give him exposure,” said Kivo.
Having sampled the new album, Kivo applauded the HKD Boss for his exceptional work.
“I’m here to support one of the best packaged albums. Even if you look at the way he’s presenting Gango, it’s different from the rest and this shows growth on his part.
“In a way, he’s putting out a statement that he’s ready for the international market and ready to dominate the local industry as well. That’s why I had to jump on a plane to come and support my own,” he said.
Freeman said all was set for the launch of his eighth album.
“All is ready and I want to thank fellow artistes for their support, especially the HKD family. We’re expecting a great party as we declare our readiness to conquer the world,” said an ecstatic HKD Boss.
The Joina City hit-maker said the line-up on the night shows that he appreciates every kind of music genre in the country.
“It’s a mixture of all types of music, that’s why you see there’s almost everyone from jit to dancehall. This is because I want this to be a celebration of art and it’ll definitely be a night to remember,” he said.
Yesterday, Kivo was in Kwekwe where he headlined the Passa Passa at The Litt. The Passa Passa, a reggae/dancehall block party, was another of his initiatives to keep the Zimdancehall genre alive.