By Freeman Makopa
Zimdancehall chanter Nutty O’s manager Byron Kabaira yesterday said he was against the musician’s decision to join Jah Prayzah’s Military Touch Movement (MTM) right from the beginning and was therefore not surprised by the Kutonga Kwaro hitmaker’s decision to disband MTM a few hours after they had disclosed Nutty O’s intentions to leave the movement.
Kabaira told NewsDay Life & Style that there was no way they were going to realise their dream of growing Nutty O’s brand while he was under Jah Prayzah’s shadow.
“I was not for the idea. My reason was simple. Look, when I engaged the young man (Nutty O), my vision was one… All I knew was that we wanted to build Zimbabwe’s next biggest brand at the time perhaps,” he said.
“My argument was that there was no way Jah Prayzah was going to allow Nutty O to be bigger than him.”
Kabaira said they fought over the idea for over three months as he was more interested in having Nutty O doing his own thing before eventually giving in, hoping that perhaps the association with Jah Prayzah — who was already a big name — would bring some positivity.
“We said cool, we will still work around it because the brand association was good. That was a good starting point,” he said.
Kabaira revealed that 24 hours before Jah Prayzah released his statement, he published a statement on Nutty O’s official Facebook page officially announcing the latter’s departure from MTM to clear the air over speculation that was already making the rounds.
“I released a statement but Nutty O was scared and he asked why I had done that. I advised him to dissociate with the statement and then I would resign. He went ahead and posted something on his Facebook page,” he said.
“In the morning Jah Prayzah released his statement and Nutty came back and apologised. He was disturbed by the (Jah Prayzah) statement.”
Kabaira indicated that long before the current saga, he had already put in place mitigation plans because he had a feeling something like that was bound to happen.
He said some of the returns anticipated from the association did not come as promised, and that was one reason they felt the relationship was not working.
“There were supposed to be some things arranged by MTM which never happened. We chose to ignore a lot of things,” he said.
In his earlier statement, Kabaira said Nutty O joined MTM at the fall of 2016 with the official label work commencing in January 2017.
“This move still remains one of the brand milestones having received the privilege to work alongside a heavyweight talent like Jah Prayzah. Over the years the Nutty O brand has continued to grow both at home and abroad and it is unthinkable not to appreciate how much the MTM association has helped prop up the Nutty O brand where possible,” he said.
“We wish to put it on record that Nutty O will be leaving the MTM arrangement purely for growth reasons.”
Nutty O left MTM after a four-year stint with the label, following in the footsteps of former members of the movement Andy Muridzo and Tahle Wedzinza.
MTM was a vibrant ensemble that also had ExQ and producers DJ Tamuka and Daniel Chiweda on its books before they decided to part ways.
When the movement was formed in January 2017, Jah Prayzah said all artistes to be signed would be treated equally and even benefit more than him. News Day