Winky D

Winky D a.k.a Wallace Chirumiko was born in Zimbabwe on the 1st of February 1983 in Harare’s ghetto, Kabuzuma. Perhaps he was born belching melodies for as early as a precocious age of eight, Winky D was a devout collector of ragga audio tapes and vinyls. At the age of 16 he gave his first performance at the Ghetto Lane Clashes which were and still are DJ battles that showcase the best of talented and emerging Djs. It is in these battles that Winky’s nimbleness in ‘scratching vinyls’ that earned him the name Wicked Deejay hereto Winky D. At the Ghetto Lane Clashes, he competed against some of Zimbabwe’s most prolific Djs of ragga, from Alkebulani, New Generation, Shocking Vibes and Delta Force to mention but a few.
As with all artistic forms of expression, the evolution of local ragga was inevitable and what was known locally as ragga had been progressively taking a new shape to an extent that it was seen to be on a “on a downward spiral” to near extinction (The Sunday Mail, May 2-8, 2010). The natural progression to reggae – dancehall genre put Winky on a path of stardom that is so far uncontested in the African continent in this genre of music. Wink D’s lyrics took the rigour of local vernacular mixed with ghetto slang and carved out a unique place for his music and its audience. English had become too much a general tool, inept and lacked the insight to translate and convey the message in a manner that resonates with the crowd. Winky D’s unique ghetto approach to afro-centric ideals and realism, although positive, gave reggae-dancehall a thuggish – rude boy in the hood tune that struck the right chord with the masses. It became a common trait in his music and among his detractors, revolutionising ragga to the current reggae-dancehall genre. The spat he had with his archrivals; Badman and Daddy Distress all shared a common stage in this revolution. And his spat with the lot, whilst innocent, is evidence of that thuggish and abrasive attitude that we often see in ghetto boys.
Winky D is characteristically a social advocate who vocalises his beliefs in social justice through his music. Born in the ghetto himself, his lyrics tell of his own experience and of his community. Winky D’s music speaks of human toil in the ghetto and failed socio-economic systems that perpetuate social injustice even further. In the lyrics of “Dem Nah Care” single he says “them don’t even care if we’re live or die…they don’t care if we smile or we cry…Them never care we go for days without a meal…But know we strong we no thief we never steal… For more than 20years my mother work in the fields to bring the best for the family that was the deal…No electricity but still we pay the bill…We can’t afford to buy no basic commodity coz nothing here is basic…everything is luxury”. To him, the ghetto is a living creature that preys on souls, the downtrodden who must have an exceptional will to survive, least perseverance – unlike the average and well-to-do urban elite.

Winky D is a conscientious social vocalist, a storyteller who speaks about the everyday life in the ghetto, the ordinary that we see as a norm from afar. But there is nothing ordinary about it.


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