HARARE - Zimdancehall sensation Dobba Don says his hit Mudendere and the Most Promising Artist gong he landed at the recent Zimdancehall Awards have catapulted him into the limelight.
The 21-year-old artiste, who was born Dumalisile Mehlomakhulu, is delighted to be getting some recognition at long last.
“When I was nominated for the Zimdancehall Awards, I really felt appreciated and winning was a bonus. After all the years of toiling, the award, which is my first is a huge achievement for me as a young artiste. I think getting known after all this time is all God’s plan.
“I started recording in 2010 when I was in Form 1 and to date I have over 100 songs most of which are unknown. The songs that have really propelled me into the limelight are Mudendere and Mukuru which were released in 2015,” said the rising musician.
Dobba Don added that, the success he has started to enjoy belies the challenges he has faced since he ventured into music.
“Until now, I have been facing serious hurdles like most artistes. At times I could not even afford to pay for studio time. There were also times I couldn’t afford even five rand kombi fare.
“But it is different now; music is a bit more rewarding for me. I can afford to pay my own rent and do other things that I could not do a few years ago. Music has really uplifted me. I now get to share the stage with big artistes,” the Mudendere singer said.
Thanks to Mudendere, in particular, foreign tours are beginning to materialise for the young artiste.
“I boarded a plane for the first time recently when I went for a gig in South Africa. Next month, I will be flying to the United Kingdom for the first time. It shows that people are listening to my works and are appreciating my music.
“I will do my best to deliver a good performance there and hopefully take my career forward. I am very thankful for the opportunity,” said Dobba Don.
In the UK, he will share the stage with fellow Zimdancehall artistes Freeman, Kinna, Killer T, Celsius, Soul Jah Love, Nutty O and Shinsoman at the annual Summer Fiesta that will take place in Luton, Wolverhampton and Manchester between April 29 and May 1.
Interestingly, as a young boy Dobba Don regarded the late sungura musician Tongai Moyo as one of his music idols.
“I can’t really say when I started enjoying music. I grew up listening to different musicians. I used to admire Dhewa (the late Tongai Moyo) and wanted to sing like him. I would hold mock gigs at home with my friends, playing imaginary instruments,” he said.
Dobba Don, who attended school in several areas including Glendale, Mufakose and Ruwa, worked with Chillspot Records, Givenchy Records when he started his professional music career.
“I remember very well my first songs to receive airplay were Tivhurire Nzira and Take a Book in 2013. My parents really do support me and my trade. My mother was a bit sceptical at first but she is now on board. She used to say music as a career will result in my death,” he said.
Dobba Don believes the support he is getting from his parents and Zimdancehall fans will give him the impetus to scale new heights.
“I have big dreams. I want my music to go international, reaching as far as China. One thing I have realised is that you need to be focused if you want to achieve your goals. Discipline and focus are very critical,” he said.
In a bid to bring more spotlight on his music, the artiste, who writes his own music, has begun working on videos.
“I am now shooting videos for my songs. There is no album yet, I believe in singles and mix tapes,” he said.