By Blessing Masakadza
Ever wondered who the wonder boy who appears riding on a big tractor tyre in the popular video for the hit Kanjiva? It’s 20-year-old Kupakwashe Dzeka. Unfortunately, for the street entertainer, people are not paying him enough for his self-acquired kills as he was paid only $2 for appearing in that music video.
“No one taught me how to ride the tyre but I learnt it by myself and now I can do several styles with it. Unfortunately, I don’t get anything out of it and I wish to get something from it. I was given $2 for Kanjiva,” he said. Living in a shack near Matapi flats in Mbare, Kupa — as he is fondly known in the area has nothing to show for his exploits; his rides are just a source of amusement for many.
He said he can travel for long distances without touching the ground.
“I can go for a long distance without putting my feet on the ground. Getting to town from here is nothing, I can go farther than that,” he said. He says he has never fallen even if he is under the influence of alcohol although he doesn’t like to ride after drinking.
“I have never fallen, never at any point because I can control it at different terrains. I drink and even when I get drunk I don’t fall, I will actually be speeding though I don’t like riding after drinking,” he said.
It is now about two years since he began riding the tyre, hence a common feature in the Harare central business district as people are charmed by his skill, taking photos and circulating them on social media.
“My parents are in Bindura. My father married a second wife and everything changed and I came here. At school, I only got up to second grade,” the ‘people’ shy lad said. He has a speech problem and it requires patience to listen when he is speaking.
Kupa says he was given the huge tyre in the nearby industrial area and taught himself the riding skills. The dreadlocked Kupa says his wish is to have an opportunity where he can make a living out of his skill and wishes to tour other areas such as Beitbridge.
He also wants to be an entertainer at child play centres and exhibitions such as the Harare Agricultural Show. Mbare’s David House musicians’ benefactors have become a home to Kupa, providing him with money for food. “He has been here for about two years now. His is a sad story; he walked from Bindura up to here.
We just hope he gets something out of his art and we will always be there for him. He can be hired for entertaining children or even to feature in videos. He can do a lot with that tyre,” a representative said. His art continues to mesmerise people and each time he gets onto the tyre, it attracts the eyes of passers-by and people gather.
“As you can see people gather each time he takes the tyre. They enjoy seeing him doing the art. He is very popular in this neighbourhood,” a Matapi resident said. Kupa is the latest example of different talents and art that comes out of Mbare. He is a block away from the popular Chillspot Records studio.
Opposite to his place is the newly-opened child play centre where a number of children participate in different activities. Daily News.