By Trust Khosa
Rapper of the moment King 98 – real name Ngoni Dondo – reckons fans have embraced him due to his talent and not rich background.
The 21-year-old, whose stocks continue to rise with each passing day, remains humble despite his demand in Africa.
To date, he has performed and wowed crowds in Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa with a Nigerian tour on cards.
With one album – Francesca – coupled with a number of singles to his credit, King 98 has made great strides in the sub-region, thanks to his distribution and marketing company Content Connect Africa (CCA).
While King 98 will never turn heads on the streets of Harare when he takes a walk, his music is doing the talking in Africa.
And so humble is the young boy that he still relates well with former classmates and old friends despite being a star.
“Many people won’t recognise me if I walk on the streets but my music is popular outside Zimbabwe.
“I just think my music is appealing to the global market,” he said.
The eloquent rapper said he will continue working hard despite the strong financial backing he has.
“I could have stopped working after launching my album (on May 1) this year but I am doing what I love most.
“On Friday (last week) I will be releasing my video (Wacko) on Youtube among and top channels and that alone shows I am going somewhere.”
Quizzed how he managed to secure collaborations with international artistes like South African rapper Nasty C and Nigerian superstar Davido, he said:
“My talent has made me get this talent because guys like Davido would not accept to work with me even if I were to offer them half a million.
“Those guys (Davido and Nasty C) embrace talent and I am glad to have worked with them.
“We are always in touch with (Davido) and he has recommended an artiste from Nigeria called Zlatan Ibile that I will be working with.
“Ibile is like the Enzo Ishall of Nigeria at the moment so I am glad that by friendship with Davido is bearing fruits,” he said.
On his relationship with Nasty C, he continued:
“Well, we are good buddies with Nasty C. I have performed with him in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique and our friendship is now strong.
“I would like to thank my parents for all this because they have realised that I have talent and that’s why they are sponsoring me to realise my dreams.
Although he enjoys rave reviews beyond borders, King 98 says there is also need to cater for the locals.
“I have planned a tour of universities but I will only do so during the second semester when most colleges open.
“At the moment some colleges have closed so I have all the time to prepare myself for the tour which I believe will help me to meet locals.”
His marketing team has also pledged to go full throttle and market King 98’s music.
Despite all the fame which comes with all the publicity he has been receiving, King 98 is still unattached and not searching, at least according to him.
“I don’t really focus on girls; I’m caught up in my music. I’m too busy for girls but I almost had a girl but my schedule does not permit.
“With all the tours and music projects I am doing at the moment, I can’t commit myself to girls,” he said.
Unlike most artistes of his generation who take drugs and alcohol, King 98 remains pure.
“I don’t take alcohol or drugs. I don’t smoke and I wouldn’t want to do that in future.
“I just love my Fanta, one thing which people didn’t know about King 98.”
King 98 says he has been exposed to big crowds at tender age and he doesn’t have stage fright.
“I was a footballer and you know with sports you can play before a big a crowd and I don’t have stage fright.
“One thing that I am certain I could be doing if I was not a musician is playing soccer.
“I can play as a central defender, holding midfielder and at right back.
“It was the encouragement I got from my parents which saw me becoming the musician I am today.”
King 98, who benefited a lot from his supportive parents, has urged fellow children in his situation to fully utilise their talent.
“We need to go for what we are good at and our parents will surely support us.
“If you are talented and you come from a rich background, you simply need to follow your heart,” he said.
King 98’s debut album – Francesca, which has propelled him to acclaim, carries 15 tracks.
These comprise 26 November, Born to Win, Francesca (Mama), Twiste, No Bad Vibes featuring Davido, Wacko featuring Laylizzy and Nasty C among others.
Meanwhile, King 98’s new video to the song – Wacko – featuring Nasty C and X Laylizzy was released last Friday online.
The beautiful video has since being endorsed by many as a masterpiece and by yesterday around lunchtime, it had garnered close to 65K views on Youtube.
After successfully launching it online, King 98 has vowed to take the video to international channels as he seeks to cement his relationship with fans across the globe. H-Metro