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I am a messenger: Holy Ten

by Trevor Makonyonga

The year 2020 has been a quite challenging and music has helped people thrive. One such artist who has managed to produce music that speaks to people during these hard times is Mukudzei “Holy Ten” Chitsamba.

His tracks, Amai and Ndaremerwa with intricate lyrics that define the situation that Zimbabweans are facing.

To the people his music is deep but to him he sees it as his role to pass messages from the streets to whoever cares to listen.

In his own words, Holy Ten said, “I am a messenger. I carry a message. My music tells stories of so many people. Like on Ndaremerwa, the song that probably got me a lot of attention, you will find out that I mention a form 2 kid, I mention a graduate, I mention a drug addict, I mention a pastor and everything. I’m a messenger. I just carry a message and if something is not right in the way we live I say it on behalf of the people.”

The journey

Being the sensation that he has now become, Holy Ten revealed to Bustop TV how it all started and showed how he has managed to capture so many souls at only 21.

“I was always someone who liked literature, reading books as a young kid and telling stories. I tried art, I might have tried drawing at some point but it didn’t work. But I was always reading books and watching something that had something to do with literary performances. That was a reflection of something inside me that wanted to express itself. I just have that burden for always expressing myself wherever I go. Music became that doorway, that I selected to be able to express myself. I would never say that it is the one thing that I am destined to do but then I found comfort expressing myself through music,” he said.

The rapper acknowledged his early primary school teacher and some provocations and bullying that he went through as part of the reasons why he ventures into the art of music.

He said, “In primary school, I think it is time to give an acknowledgement to my grade 1 and 2 teacher Ms Mupasiri, she was very English. She always had us doing all these plays, I always refer to this when I am talking about expression because that’s where I learnt how to express myself. As I was growing up I was always trying to perform something. I did a lot of things that needed me to express myself during that period. I was doing drama, the plays, I did karate as well and I had an orange belt at that age. I also did poetry, I did everything that would make me express myself. When I moved to North Park primary school that’s when I decided to write my first song because I had been intimidated by someone. I don’t want to call it bullying.

“So I wrote a song that was semi violent. My mum listened to it. My mum is also musical, she used to be a backup singer for Tawanda Mutyebere. So when I wrote the semi violent song I told her that I had written something. She read the song and she said if I managed to perform the song in front of the family at supper she could take me to the studio. I couldn’t do it. I was really shy so those dreams died back then. Music resurfaced when I was in Form 1 when again I had been provoked.”

Shift to being professional

After finishing High School, Holy Ten said he started pursuing music using YouTube tutorial to learn to produce, mix and make beats.

“What then pushed me to become a professional artist was persistence. The fact that I decided to learn how to get the voice to move around, meet more people and connect with more people. I started the YouTube channel and learnt how to upload. I started learning how to do my own production, how to mix and making beats,” said the artist.

He added that the most valuable lesson he learnt was that of being professional and how to protect himself which is the reason why he took a legal step to have copyrights to his music.

He told Bustop TV that he will pour out more on this issue someday as it is something dear to his heart.

The Ndaremerwa singer said, “I would want to tell the story myself because it is important to me. It’s because it protects me from being swallowed up by the system that runs this industry. Everywhere we have stories of artists complaining about how they were taken advantage of. It was a very important legal step for me that I felt was supposed to be the first step that I take so that I can get protected from anything that would haunt me.

The big loss

The artist also shared the emotional story behind the song Tavada which he dedicated to his late young brother who died early this year.

“That song I composed it a month after he passed. I was still trying to deal with everything. For me it was a big loss because he just died after 3 days of illness. It was a 3 days battle with meningitis and it was nothing expected. The boy was calm an gentle. Had just passed his school and was about to go to college. It was difficult for me. He would listen to my songs and two days before he passed he was listening to my music. We up at 11pm and we had a playlist we were listening to. He was one of my biggest supporters despite being my brother. So that song was really me. I picked that specific beat, it’s a sample from Matshikos. I mixed it up. It really hit me hard. It was a last gift to him. I have had good responses from people who have suffered the same loss. I told the boy that I was going to take over Africa. As I was singing the song I found out that at least I had something to hold on to,” he said.

His music is available on his YouTube channel.

Those who dared to listen will agree that there is a lot of potential in the young artist.

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1 comment

Nycer August 29, 2020 - 2:00 pm

Inspiring Talent. Indeed He passing some message in the bars!!! Looming forward to more from the G.

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