By Problem Masau
Wallace “Winky D” Chirumiko’s hate for life in the fast lane is well documented. He always tries to hide his personal life from the public eye. During interviews, the singer avoids eye contact.
His life is more of a mystery, with only a few people close to him knowing how he has managed to keep most personal issues under the wrap in a country where newspapers feast on celebrity lifestyles.
However, Winky D the artiste is more enigmatic – the shy Winky D quickly evaporates and is replaced by the much imposing singer who in the song “Sando Dzangu” demands respect for his musical exploits and talent.
It is obvious that when he launches his album at Harare International Conference Centre on February 2, he will confidently showcase the side that most people have always known.
He has proved to be an energetic performer who has joined the list of top musicians working with promoters of the moment 2Kings Entertainment.
The promotions company is working with Winky D in launching his new album titled “Gombwe”. And the title of the album is of notable interest.
Winky D has created an array of confusing alter egos which have now pigeon-holed him into a music demagogy along the way calling himself Bigman, Ninja President, Pharoah and Gafa. Gombwe is an addition to these titles.
“If you want to know what Gombwe is, please go and check in the dictionary,” he said. A quick perusal in a Shona dictionary defines Gombwe as a Zimbabwean name often given to a baby boy. The meaning of Gombwe in Shona is guardian spirit especially of a tribe.
“I am moving with the times, if I remain stagnant I die,” he said. The musician’s dressing has also been influenced by the crown he would be wearing at a certain point in life.
During his Bigman days, Winky D used to wear a big belt inscribed “bigman”. Then came the Ninja President times when he used to adorn that martial arts attire.
He adopted the Kandura, a special type of the Arab dressing when he used to call himself the Pharoah. Are we going to see Winky D in animal skin since he has adopted the moniker Gombwe – a Shona spirit medium?
“I cannot divulge that, people will have a glimpse of my dressing when they come for the album launch on February 2,” he said.
Over the years Winky D’s music has also evolved from conflict to mature lyrics. The musician has resorted to “clean party songs” such as “Disappear” and “Paita Party”.
He has also took a conciliatory approach in songs such as “Mumba Mababa” and “Mafirakureva” that show the man has matured with age. In the song “Mumba Mababa”, Winky D advises church-goers to worship God without ulterior motives.
In “Mafirakureva” the dancehall chanter treads on an unfamiliar territory, castigating youths for abusing substances such as bronco, mbanje and illicit brews. The Herald