By Dakarai Mashava
Zimbabwean musician Don Dada has been chosen to perform at the internationally-acclaimed Bob Marley Tribute Concert in Jamaica, next month, adding another super chapter in his blazing musical journey.
Don Dada who is based in South Africa will perform in the Jamaican capital, Kingston on February 6.
Things are certainly going his way as his single titled Jah Is Good is set to be the first song by an African musician to be distributed by late Jamaican superstar’s Tuff Gong.
In addition to the appearance on the Bob Marley Tribute concert stage, the Harare-born artiste, who is widely regarded to have been the first person to learn in a Zimbabwean government school (Avondale Primary) with dreadlocks in 1993, will also perform at three other venues in “reggae-mad” Jamaica alongside celebrated artistes such as Luciano, Sizzla Kalonji, Conrad Crystal and Fireball crew among others.
He will perform in Ocho Rios — a port town on the north coast of Jamaica — on February 8 and Hope Gardens the following day. Don Dada will return to Ocho Rios for his final performance in Jamaica on February 10.
Don Dada’s mother and manager, Layla Gibbons, confirmed to the Daily News the invitation from the Bob Marley Tribute Concert organisers for her son to perform at the gig to mark what could have been the Jamaican superstar’s 74th birthday.
“This is a very historic opportunity for Don Dada to be invited to perform at this internationally-acclaimed concert that pays tribute to the late reggae icon … Marley,” said Gibbons.
But how did Harare-born Don Dada win the hearts of Jamaicans?
“The opportunity came through digital exposure through his #HipHop4Life #DADAFriday show when it was heard by a radio host — MC Cool-I of Wadadli Benz Radio based in Montreal Canada who broadcasts in New York.
“MC Cool-I invited Don Dada for a telephonic interview …little known to the two was that some brothers from Jamaica who included Leroy Scarlett were listening in.
Leroy contacted Wadadli Benz Radio and two massive opportunities were presented to Dada,” Gibbons told the Daily News.
Thanks to Scarlett, Don Dada, who relocated to South Africa with his family when he was in Grade Two, toured Kenya with legendary award-winning Jamaican Everton Blender and the Reggae Power House Band in September.
“Don Dada enjoyed a successful Kenya tour which convinced Scarlett of Harmony House Studio to record him. The song will be distributed by the late Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong,” said Gibbons, adding that Scarlett played an important role in securing a slot for Don Dada on the Bob Marley Tribute concert stage.
Since the event is less than a month away, Gibbons said they were now under pressure to raise money for air fares and accommodation.
“We never dreamt that such an opportunity would come about and as such we had not prepared for it. It is such a great opportunity which we are determined to grab with both hands. Since Don Dada will be raising the flag of Zimbabwe and Africa, we are hopeful that some corporates and other well-wishers will help us by availing the much-needed resources,” she said.
If Don Dada’s historic Jamaican tour materialises, it will be a crowning moment for an artiste whose career is blossoming at a rapid rate.
His song Viva Mandela was certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA) last year.
The song, which is the official 2017 Nelson Mandela Day tune, has been certified platinum barely a fortnight after turning gold.
RISA certifies an album gold after 20 000 copies have been shipped to retailers and platinum after 40 000 copies have been sent to the market. DailyNews