By Evans Mathanda/ Kennedy Nyavaya
THE family of Chillspot Records founder and Zimdancehall producer Arnold Kamudyariwa, popularly known as DJ Fantan, has spoken for the first time since the incarceration of the artiste and his associates Tafadzwa “DJ Levels” Kadzimwe and Simbarashe “Dhama” Chanachimwe.
The trio will serve effective six-month jail terms each for violating Covid-19 lockdown regulations after organising a New Year’s Eve bash that was attended by hundreds of people in Mbare.
In an exclusive interview with Standard Style last week, Fantan’s mother Lorine Akende said the courts made a very unfair judgement considering that these were first-time offenders.
“They do not have any criminal record and it is Dhama who organised the bash together with the police. I won’t stop crying until they free my son,” she said.
Fantan’s grandmother, who requested anonymity, told this publication that as the Mbare community, they were not expecting such judgement since these were first-time offenders.
“We did not see it coming because this can’t be a crime that deserves jail sentencing. They were supposed to be slapped with fines and community service,” she said.
Meanwhile, stakeholders within the local music sector say the incarceration of the trio comes as a huge blow to the country’s already downtrodden show business.
Over the years, the music makers have been ushering in and promoting upcoming talent, especially Zimdancehall chanters, through their studio situated in the Mbare neighbourhood and without them, the next few months could be a major step back in music development.
Taking to different social media platforms, artistes could not over-emphasise the impact their absence would have in the music scene that has been struggling to stay afloat amid set Covid-19 restrictions.
Jah Signal seemed to appeal for a lesser sentence when he reacted to the issue on his Instagram pages.
“…Maziso emutemo anemaonero awo atisingaone taka kanganisa tinzwireiwo ngoni hatizvi pamhe futi. Kune vakoma vangu makaita kuti ini nevamwe vakawanda tiwane hupenyu nemagitare, Mwari vakusimbisei panguva ino. (The law had its own way of dealing with matters; we broke the law and will not repeat it again. To my brothers, you ensured that me and many other got a means of life sustenance, may God make you strong in such a time),” he wrote.
“Just so you know. I am on your side DJ Fantan and Levels, and I am never going to judge you for what happened. As you get through your sentence, I hope you don’t worry too much about what will happen next because the future is not yours to control. Saying that, I want you to remember that there is an end in sight, and it’s not over for you yet. I need you to know that God sees you and hears your prayers…” posted Ricky Fire.
According to Jah Prayzah, the Mbare trio were only unlucky to be nabbed for a crime many could and have committed before.
“This is a mistake even I could have easily made. Just the desire to see people happy as we are born for this. From mistakes like these we all learn. I am sorry it had to be you guys and now we shall all learn. I know you will come back stronger, bigger and wiser. It shall pass soon. Stay strong. To all of us reading this, stay safe, stay home and mask up,” Jah Prayzah wrote on Facebook.
However, as messages of pity have been flowing from artistes and fans alike, some have been making jokes and Enzo Ishall was not amused.
“Ndashamisika ndichiona vamwe vachifarira kutongwa kwavo, dai vaiziva kuti imhuri ngani dzirikurarama nekuda kwe Chillspot vaisadaro. (I am shocked to see that some are celebrating their sentencing, if only they knew the number of families that live from Chillspot earnings they would not do that),” commented Enzo Ishall on Instagram.
True to his sentiments, a significant number of people will definitely suffer financially as a result of the Chillspot duo’s imprisonment as they have been running a monopolised, but lucrative artiste development scheme.