ZiFM duo fire salvo at Zimdancehall

HARARE - Tinashe “Captain Awesome” Tangwanda (28) and Alexis “Lexy-Alexis” Ndingindwayo (26), co-presenters of The Heartbeat on ZiFM, say Zimdancehall will only reach higher echelons if it ceases to be repetitive.

The eloquent duo, who took over The Heartbeat show from Marc Mandisoul and V Candy who are no longer with ZiFM, want dancehall producers to desist from rushing to the market with half-baked products.

“For me Zimdancehall is mostly repetitive .It sounds basically the same even if it involves different riddims (beats),” said Lexy-Alexis.

Captain Awesome, who has been with ZiFM since Zimbabwe’s second private radio station was established, concurred.

“There is need for more originality in Zimdancehall. Those who are making the effort to be different have done really well.Tocky Vibes came on the scene and everybody immediately liked him because he was original,” said Tinashe.

“Artistes like Shinsoman, Sniper Storm and Winky D have also done well because they have largely been original.”

For the beautiful Lexy-Alexis Shinsoman is the standard bearer in Zimdancehall.

“He is very good. He has consistently released quality songs. I particularly like his new song called Picture. It is up there with the best,” she said.

“I believe quality issues in Zimdancehall can be addressed if the various producers who are running some small studios pool their resources and form bigger and better studios where they can charge more realistic prices.”

In a bid to promote Zimbabwean songs, the two The Heartbeat co-presenters have devoted the last hour of their 3am to 6am show to local music.

“We started hosting the show early this year and we tailor-made it to suit us and included a slot for local music on the show. Quality dancehall music and other genres get played on the show. I am confident that Zimdancehall will eventually improve. Zim hip hop started the same way but it has evolved; it is improving tremendously,” said Captain Awesome.

The two upcoming presenters are delighted with the feedback their “feel-good” show is getting from all over the world thanks to live-streaming.

“The Heartbeat is a social show; no politics. We discuss gossip both local and international. Due to live-streaming we have managed to attract an international audience from such countries as Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong. It is very encouraging,” Lexy-Alexis told the Daily News on Sunday.

Given the lofty heights that The Heartbeat has scaled under the stewardship of Captain Awesome and Lexy-Alexis, many find it difficult to accept that the two became radio presenters “by accident.”

Before he joined ZiFM, Tinashe ran an online lifestyle magazine called Opium.

“In the course of my duties at Opium I met Supa Mandiwanzira (ZiFM owner) who encouraged me to apply for a post at his station which was on the verge of being opened and I did just that. Until then I had never imagined myself being on radio because radio stations in this country are limited,” he said.

Lexy-Alexis, a graduate of the London Metropolitan University, applied for a post  in the ZiFM marketing department but those who interviewed her recommended her as an ideal candidate for radio.

“I studied events, music and media management at university and I came back to Zimbabwe hoping to join the ZiFM advertising department but ended up on radio,” she said.

“My family is really into the arts and media .My father (Kenneth Ndingindwayo) acted in radio dramas; my brother  Kenneth Ndingindwayo Jnr (DJ Keno) is a DJ in Liverpool while my cousin Shayne  Ndingindwayo (better known by the nickname Shayne Ndingz) is a hip hop artiste. Despite such a family history I never thought I would end up on radio,” said Alexis.

The highly rated duo conceded that a show like The Heartbeat can only blossom if there is chemistry between its co-presenters.

“The good part between me and Alexis that we are friends first; we are friends off air and on air .I really enjoy working with her,” said Captain Awesome, a fan of radio and television personality Tich Mataz.

For Lexy-Alexis, who grew up hero-worshipping ex-Power FM DJ Peter Johns, her partnership with Captain Awesome is a match made in heaven.

“He went on radio much earlier than me so he has really been helpful as well as my mentor Tony Friday. We are both determined to take The Heartbeat to another level so there is no chance of egos getting in the way,” she said.

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