By Loren Dondo
HIP-HOP musician, Clady Banks, has released a track for the ages called ‘Lobola’. The song comes after the introduction of the new marriage Bill which has made headlines in Zimbabwe. This move gave the young artist an opportunity to produce a song that speaks as a tribute to the cultural practice.
The Lobola tradition has made it difficult for couples to get married under the law, due to marriage officers requesting proof of payment of the bride price, in order to finalise a customary marriage. Although the new law aims to limit Lobola as a mandatory practice, you could refer to Clady Banks as “pro-lobola.”
Speaking of the inspiration behind the song, he says, “I heard about the Bill and decided to write a controversial Lobola song about a mukwasha (son-in-law) who is addressing his tezvara (father-in-law) on why he will no longer be paying the bride price.” Ironically, the artist affirms that he is not that kind of mukwasha.
The song, ‘Lobola’, holds a strong message with “food for thought” in order to show why Lobola should be viewed as a token of appreciation. However, the musician describes the song as art and elaborates that the song uses satire and is not a direct attack of the practice. Clady Banks believes that Lobola is an honour to the bride’s parents and should not be undermined.
For years, the tradition has celebrated African love and united families. Some may not be happy about the sudden change. Therefore, the cultural change might give musicians the leverage to advocate for the preservation of norms and values in African traditions.
The power of music is in influencing listeners and Clady Banks confirms that notion. “Artists are influencers. Since some fans idolise their favourite artists, they are likely to follow what their favourite artists sing about.”
Born and raised in Chitungwiza, Clady Banks considers himself as an introvert but likes to sing about subjects that “most people find hard to air about.” “I want the youth to be great and successful, that’s what I’m preaching about in my music,” he adds.
Expressing how he feels about the process of creating music, he admits that the inspiration behind most of his music is in everyday life. “Even this interview might inspire a new song, that’s how creative I am,” he jokingly says. His words might come across as ‘sarcasm’ but he could be unpredictable, you just have to read between the lines.
The up-coming young artist has an album called ‘Listen to The Grandmaster’ which is due for release and he is excited about the future. “As time goes on I think I will touch more people because I’m working on motivational and inspirational music,” he concludes.