Jah Prayzah's victory not guaranteed, says Coca-Cola

HARARE - Despite many tipping Jah Prayzah to top the 2017 Radio Zimbabwe Coca-Cola Top 50 thanks to his popular latest album Kutonga Kwaro, the sponsors of the prestigious annual chart have hinted that the music star is still trailing several artistes.

Speculation has been rife that the Ndini Ndamubata singer was well-placed to follow in the footsteps of Zora icon Leonard Zhakata who pocketed $6 000 after dominating both annual Radio Zimbabwe Coca-Cola Top 50 and National FM charts last year.

Zhakata walked away with $2 500 for claiming top position on the Radio Zimbabwe Coca-Cola Top 50 music chart,

$2 000 for earning second position and $1 500 for also getting position number three. The 49-year-old artiste’s three hits which topped the two charts are on his latest album titled Mutunga Dzese (which loosely translated means the one which overcomes everything in its wake.)

Given the way Jah Prayzah’s latest album Kutonga Kwaro — which many associate with President Emmerson Mnangagwa — has dominated the airwaves and dance floors since veteran nationalist Robert Mugabe resigned late last month; many music fans have tipped the Ndini Ndamubata singer to pocket all the prize money just like Zhakata did last year.

But according to Coca-Cola — the sponsors of the prestigious annual chart — Jah Prayzah might struggle to make the top 20 if votes in his favour do not increase significantly.

While acknowledging Jah Prayzah’s current popularity, Coca-Cola senior brand manager Vee Chibanda, however, emphasised that the annual chart is determined through votes and not perceived popularity.

“The year 2017 was a unique year as Zimbabweans saw a new political leadership in November. Our very talented and Coke Studio 2017 representative, Jah Prayzah, was riding high with his new “prophetic” album — Kutonga Kwaro.

“It was released soon after Coke Studio but before the revolution… listeners seem to consider he will win the song of the year. From available votes from January and current voting indications so far, he is pushing but may not even be in the top 20,” said Chibanda.

She added that it was important for music fans to understand how the annual Radio Zimbabwe Coca-Cola Top 50 is determined.

“The show uses all weekly SMS votes to come up with the annual chart show. The Coca-Cola Top 50 is a reflection of the songs that have been hits throughout the year, from January to December.

“The Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 starts with Coca-Cola Top 20 which plays every Saturday between 1200hours  to 1300hours. Listeners send their favourite five songs to the number 0778 230 493 in the format: Song# Song# Song# Song# Song#. The songs will be in the respective order, from number one to five,” said the Coca-Cola senior brand manager.

Chibanda said the Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 is determined in a manner that captures top songs throughout the year.

“Our experience shows that when we ask listeners to vote for the top five songs of the year, they tend to forget songs that were released early in the year and focus on current hit songs only.

“So to give all artists equal opportunities, we combine all the votes an artist garnered during the top 20 weekly programmes and tally them with the votes sent specifically for top 50. This gives artistes who released their songs in the beginning of the year a chance to be considered,” she said.