Zim artiste ropes in Bob Marley's Tuff Gong

HARARE - South Africa-based Zimbabwean artiste Don Dada's single titled ‘Jah Is Good” will be distributed by late Jamaican Superstar Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong, making him the first Zimbabwean to achieve such a feat.

‘Jah Is Good’ was produced by top Jamaican producer Leroy Scarlet and features the internationally renowned Sly Dunbar (drummer) and Robbie Shakespeare (bassist).

Don Dada, whose song ‘Viva Mandela’ was certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA) early this year, has described working with the legendary Tuff Gong as a rare honour.

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“It is something that is truly amazing and I thank God for it.I am not too sure but I think that I am the only Africa thus far to have a song with Tuff Gong and that is blessing.

“Very few artistes elsewhere in the world can claim to have worked with the legendary Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong so to have this opportunity I just thank God. I am just looking forward to the future,” said Don Dada, who was born Menelik Nesta Gibbons.

He added that recording with the fabled Tuff Gong founded by the late Bob Marley in 1965 was yet another proof of the rise of Zimbabwean music.

“It shows how hard we have worked and how far we have progressed not just myself as an artiste but ourselves as African musicians; as Zimbabwean musicians.

“I would like to thank Leroy scarlet and MC Cool-I from Montreal, Canada for their tireless work and dedication to get this project off the ground,” said the award-winning Zimbabwean artiste.

But how did Don Dada end up recording with Tuff Gongs?

“The opportunity came through digital exposure through his #HipHop4Life #DADAFriday show when it was heard by a radio host - MC Cool-I of Wadadli Benz Radio based in Montreal Canada who broadcasts in New York.

“MC Cool-I invited Don Dada for a telephonic interview …little known to the two was that some brothers from Jamacia who included Leroy Scarlett where listening in.Leroy contacted Wadadli Benz Radio and two massive opportunities were presented to Dada,” said Don Dada's mother and manager, Layla Gibbons.

Thanks to Leroy Scarlett, Don Dada, who relocated to South Africa with his family when he was in Grade two, toured Kenya with legendary award winning Jamacian Everton Blender and the Reggae Power House Band in September.

“Don Dada enjoyed a successful Kenya tour which convinced Leroy Scarlett of Harmony House Studio to record him. The song will be officially released soon,” said Gibbons.

Despite being based in South Africa for over two decades, Don Dada still cherishes his Zimbabwean roots.

“I was the first Zimbabwean in 1993 (after a big fight) to learn in a government school [Avondale Primary] with dreadlocks…I still have the hair that I was born with to this day.

“My connection to Zimbabwe is mentioned in most of my songs and I visit yearly. I am friends with Zimbabwean artistes like Mc Chita Herby Dangerous and many others. I think Zimbabwean artistes are extremely talented and their song writing is second to none,” said Don Dada.

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