Ammara's Akiliz courts controversy

HARARE - Upcoming rapper Tapiwa “Akili” Matavire has sensationally claimed that it was his stage name that inspired Ammara to come up with the hit Akiliz.

Akili, who recently returned to Zimbabwe after a decade of living in Cape Town, South Africa, makes a rather uncharitable mention of the red-hot songstress in his just-released song titled Million.

Part of the track goes:

And if you really want Akili we’ll arrange that

Somebody tell Ammara that Akili took his name back

How the f*** (iwe) you love n hate me in the same track

And I ain’t really remember her till I came back.

The upcoming rapper said he met Ammara in Cape Town a couple of years ago where he was based at the time.

“I called Roki to Cape Town; he’s an old friend. I dealt with her (Ammara) when she was dating Roki; dealt with her for all his (Roki) logistics because she was somewhat managing Roki,” Akili told the Daily News on Sunday.

Asked why Ammara would do such a song on him when they never dated, Akili said:

“I really think she thought my name sounded exotic.”

Though Ammara’s hit is titled Akiliz and not Akili, the upcoming rapper cheekily insists that the songstress should have sought his permission.

“I honestly really like the song. My only beef is that she could have just let me know prior to me hearing my name on radio for a relationship I had nothing to do with. I know for a fact though that she could have just contacted me for authorisation,” said Akili.

But in an interview with the Daily News on Sunday, Ammara poured cold water on Akili’s claims.

“I have never heard of Akili in my life, but if it’s media he’s looking for, here is his five minutes of fame...tick tick… and it’s over. Moving along.

“Akiliz is a derivative of Achilles heel, a scientific term also used metaphorically to address ‘your weakness,’ off the basis of its Greek mythology origin. The end,” said the Akiliz hit-maker.

In a Facebook post on September 14 last year, Ammara gave an explanation of what the song is all about.

“Akiliz made number one on the Zi World Chart Show … Some of you are still asking who/what is Akiliz? He/She is your weakness, your Achilles heel. The person who takes your kindness for weakness,” she wrote then.

Interestingly, the late sungura star Paul “Doctor Love” Matavire was Akili’s uncle.

Before his death in 2005, aged just 44, the visually-impaired Matavire won the hearts of many in Zimbabwe and in South Africa with hits such as Tanga Wandida, Kutsva Kwendebvu and Dhiabhorosi Nyoka.

To most music fans, the name Matavire is synonymous with fast-paced sungura music thanks to the late Doctor Love.

Though Tapiwa has never been a fan of sungura music that the late Doctor Love championed, Akili is determined to carry on his late uncle’s legacy.

“Yes I am a nephew of the late Paul Matavire. Definitely I would like to make an imprint in his huge shoes; he was my uncle, my dad’s cousin.

“And so for the family, it’s definitely a responsibility to revive the legacy. Just in a different way. Times have changed… so while I respect and treasure the legacy, I present the music from a different vantage point.

“I ventured into music when I was just six years old and so have been into music since I was a kid but I never released a full solo project,” Akili told the Daily News on Sunday.

The hip-hop artiste believes his recently released single titled “Million” will take his music career a notch up.

“I wrote the song just after returning to Zimbabwe a few months ago and I was just relating to most of the people around me … I detailed a train of thought around aspiring to success and wealth which I noticed most Zimbabweans as driven as they are, aspire to,” said Akili.

The song, distributed by So Sick Records owned by Emmerson Mnangagwa Jnr, was jointly produced by Tunna and DJ Tecniks at Mbare-based Still We Rise Music Studio owned by Akili’s brother.

“The single is taken off my upcoming EP titled Hi & Goodbye. This will be my first and last full solo project.

“It merges uniquely Zimbabwean elements into an international sound. When my full project comes out this will make sense. I am focusing on not only doing international standard hip-hop, but the EP is fused with a lot of African elements.

“I also have the rights to the Shaka Zulu song We are Growing and will be releasing a hip-hop remake of that song.

I received the rights from the writer of the original song Patric van Blerk who is the co-owner of Cape Town Sound, which we will be working with on South African distribution of the project,” said Akili.