By Tonderai Zvimba
A dance craze, kanjiva, that has been playing popular in the Mbare high density suburb of Harare has gone viral and is spreading like wildfire across the country.
The dance that has given locals some sense of identity was recently popularised by up-and-coming Zimdancehall musician Enzo Ishal who recorded a music video for a track he called Kanjiva to share the Mbare dance.
Using the Avion Tamu Level Riddim, the track was produced by two powerful record labels — Military Touch Movement’s DJ Tamuka and Chillspot’s Levels likely explaining its impact on the music scene.
Shot in Mbare, the video, which has garnered over 200 000 views on YouTube, has become a fan favourite because of its catchy lyrics and dance concept.
It has captured the hearts of many because it is refreshing and portrays the high density suburb that is often labelled as a crime hotspot in good light with the community coming together for a good cause. Compared to other Zimdancehall tunes, this track has clean lyrics and appeals to all age groups.
The dance, which has been trending on social media, resembles a dove which is njiva in Shona. People from Mbare in different age groups are captured doing the njiva dance and teaching those who do not know it.
After the release of this music video last month, Enzo Ishal, real name Stephen Kudzanai Mamhare, has become one of the most promising Zimdancehall musicians of 2018 joining the likes of Jah Signal of the Sweetie fame.
Radio personality, Butterphly Phunk, said she likes the dance as it is easy to dance to.
“I can’t dance but Kanjiva is a danceable tune. It’s open for interpretation, whichever way you think of dancing to it applies,” she said.
Enzo (24) seems to be here to stay as he does not have one hit to his name. He has managed to entice Zimdancehall fans with more hits like Handirare ku den kwenyu futi and Nechemu Moyo which are doing well.
In the interview below, Showbiz Reporter Tonderai Zvimba (TZ) speaks to Enzo Ishal (EI) to find out more about his music and career.
TZ: What inspired you to be a Zimdancehall musician?
EI: I used to write rhymes at school and people would react positively to them. Also, my father loved reggae. I also followed the likes of Winky D and Sniper Storm and all this inspired me to venture into Zimdancehall music.
TZ: How did you come up with the Kanjiva track?
EI: For the past two years, the dance has been popular in Mbare. So when I heard the Tamulevel riddim, I thought it was time I do a song for the dance.
What I liked the most about Kanjiva is that it can be danced to by all ages from children to adults.
TZ: What sets you apart from other Zimdancehall musicians?
EI: I’m the voice of the ghetto, I sing about social experiences.
TZ: If you did not take up music as a career, which career path would you have taken?
EI: I think I’d have been a lawyer as I did arts subjects at A-Level. Actually that’s what I wanted to pursue but I impregnated a girl and things went the other way.
TZ: A lot of Zimdancehall artistes are associated with drug abuse. What’s your take on that?
EI: Personally, I don’t take drugs but almost 70 percent of the ghetto youths are taking drugs, something that needs to be addressed urgently. Also, drug abuse should not be pinpointed to Zimdancehall musicians only as it affects everyone.
TZ: Do you think people will be able to listen to your music 50 years from now?
EI: Not really, but I have songs that I’ll put out in future that’ll have a positive impact on people’s lives. I hope those songs will be listened to even when I’m gone.
TZ: When can people expect an album from you?
EI: Not anytime soon as I’m only focusing on singles. I want to take my time so that I come up with a solid project.
TZ: Which musician would you like to collaborate with?
EI: Oliver Mtukudzi. I’m a huge fan of the veteran singer and I’d love to work with him as I draw a lot of inspiration from him. The Chronicle