Zimbabwean dancehall king and youth icon Winky D made his official comeback on Zimbabwean stages this weekend, as he performed his hit song MuGarden with Gemma Griffiths for the first time. Winky D had taken a hiatus from public performances due to fears for his security following threats made against his life in December last year, after he was accused of using his music for political complimentary.
Winky D stole the show at a concert headlined in Harare by Nigerian star Patoranking, as the energetic star brought an energy that his fans had clearly missed. Fans at the concert were already in high spirits during Winky D’s performance as he performed hits from his rich discography clad in a gold sequined blazer. Griffith’s surprise appearance added to the energy and sent the sold out Harare International Conference Centre into frenzy.
Winky D and Griffith’s collaboration was an instant success when it was released earlier this year. The video, which now has over 2 million views on YouTube, features the stars in a breathtaking Garden of Eden inspired location. It has been celebrated as one of the most aesthetically creative videos to ever be produced in Zimbabwe, and inspired the viral #MuGardenChallenge on social media where people made and posted their own hilarious recreations of the video’s theme in their homes with leaves and plants.
On Christmas Day last year, Winky D fell victim to an attack by what his management described as “machete wielding assailants” after a performance in Zimbabwe’s gold town, Kwekwe. This was shortly after he released his song titled ‘KaSong Kejecha”, a song that incorporated the Shona catchphrase which was popularly aligned with Zimbabwe’s opposition party MDC. Winky D was then accused of politicizing his music, and indoctrinating his cult like following of young Zimbabweans in favour of the opposition movement.
In a statement after the incident, Winky D’s management informed the public that “in the interest of public and private safety, we regret to announce that Winky D will no longer be able to perform in Kadoma on Dec 31st. We don’t feel safe at all”. The artist had not performed in Zimbabwe since then, although he has been honouring his international engagements. His only public appearance in 2019 so far was at the funeral of his mentor and Zimbabwean legend Oliver Mtukudzi where he sang an acappela tribute amongst mourners.