SOUTH Africa based entertainer DJ Rabaaz might have settled across the Limpopo but he hasn’t forgotten his roots.
As a gospel artiste and disc jockey, he feels he has a special calling that needs to be put into good use.
The affable entertainer who turns 50 this weekend, has a lot to share with his fans in this instalment of your favourite column, From The Horse’s Mouth. Read on…
- BRIEF PROFILE
I was born Claud Rabson at St Mary’s Clinic in Chitungwiza on 11 Sep 1971.
Many in showbiz circles prefer calling me DJ Rabaaz, the moniker I have embraced.
I turned 50 years on the 11th of September 2021(last weekend) and I’m still feeling younger.
I am father of three kids – my first born Rachael (23) is in UK, Sean and Shalom are staying with their mother here in South Africa and are aged 13 and nine years, respectively.
I hope to re-marry soon.
I grew up in Zengeza 2 where I attended my primary school at Pfumo and Zengeza 2 High school.
I am an IT Technician by profession having obtained an HND with Higher Education Ministry in Zimbabwe and have acquired various IT certifications.
I have turned into entrepreneurship and am founder of SA-based CR Systems (Pty) Ltd.
I do gospel music on a part-time basis to follow my passion, which I believe is a calling from God that I minister in song.
I am third-year Bible school student with Christian Family Church International, founded by Dr Theo Wolmarans in SA.
My passion for music in general started at my primary school level.
Growing up, I remember myself with my brother and other neighbourhood friends making up musical instruments like marimbas, plastic drums and ‘Olivine’ guitars and then play at street corners.
When I left school in 1988, I attended weekend musical workshops for teenagers at Zimbabwe College of Music and this is when I met the mbira artiste Sydney Maratu to whom we formed Mambakwedza Band and released an album.
I played drums for this groups and during my musical carreer.
I have played with such artists as Noel Zembe, Mozambican duo of Theresa and Awendile of the Asante Sana fame, King Isaac, Bulk Spirits, the late Pax Matenga and Franco Hodobo just to name some but a few.
During that time, I turned down some offers from big bands including the late Ephat Mujuru, John Chibadura since they wanted a full time drummer.
- DJ RABAAZ MONIKER
I then purchased a disco system and for so many years I used to play at private and corporate functions and this is where I got the DJ Rabaaz name from.
My drive to do sospel music started when I got born-again in 2010 after migrating to South Africa in 2007.
I bought studio equipment in 2015 and taught myself to produce music and released my first two gospel albums – Tendeuka and Muvhangeri (The Evangelist) under own Record Label Rabaaz Entertainment.
I am greatly inspired by King Isaac, that I once played with, in Mambakwedza Band who defied odds by becoming the first local artiste to collaborate with the late international reggae artiste, King Isaacs.
I am also greatly inspired by Psalmist Blessing Shumba.
I find myself confining to gospel music, which I deliver in various types of genres like Museve, Afro Jazz, Mbira and Amapiano elements found in my latest offering.
- SA ESTABLISHEMENT
To start, I am a permanent resident of South African, having moved there to fill a gap of IT skills required in that country then.
I have established my personal record label Rabaaz Entertainment and also co-own RabSim Records Gospel label with my producer Solomon ‘King Solo’ Simbi of the Dopiro Crew fame.
We wish to record a number of gospel musicians under this RabSim Records.
When it comes to competition, I believe gospel music has one common purpose of ministering God’s word alongside other musicians.
Therefore, there is need to support each other than competing against each other.
Personally, I believe in competing on my own, by performing better against my previous production.
I also listen to other gGospel musicians not for competition purposes but as a gospel music fan.
- SA SYNERGIES
I have started engaging other fellow musicians for my third and past album and collaborated with Carol Muzambi, King Solo on two tracks there, Ndaiwana Shamwari and Nyasha.
I believe, there is more power when two or more artistes meet, in the same context as in the bible where God’s presence is guaranteed when two or more people gather together in His name.
I have also played a supportive role, financially so and shared my musical experience with some of the South Africa based gospel musicians and will continue to do so.
As an artiste, my focus at the moment is to build my brand in my home country first before I think of making it in SA.
I always pray against political instability and xenophobic tendencies in this foreign land which pose serious danger to lives and livelihood.
These are the only challenges in our midst here.
Over the years, I have made sure that I recorded consistently.
To date, I have an EP single tiled Mwari Makanaka recorded in (2015), first 1st gospel album Tendeuka (2016), Muvhangeri (The Evangelist) (2017), Ndaiwana Shamwari (Jesu) (2019).
This Saturday, 11th Sep 2021, I am releasing my fourth album called Minana.
I am also releasing a video on Friday called Famba Nevamwe, which I featured Franco “Slomo” Dhaka as a supporting act.
I will release two more videos this September for Amapiano remix of the Tirikupemberera (wedding song) and Mwari weRudo, where I fused mbira and Amapiano elements.
- LOVE LIFE
When it comes to matters of the heart, I am single at the moment but I have three kids as explained earlier on
I am dating someone that I intend to marry anytime soon.
It’s a serious relationship.
- LOOSE WOMEN
I used to have women problems on handling when I used to drink beer.
However, I thank God, I do not touch any alcoholic drop now.
This has helped me grow spiritually and strong enough not to fall in any such traps.
- HAPPIEST MOMENT ON STAGE
I recall though two memorable live events when I played drums for Noel Zembe at a ZTV-live-covered Independence Gala.
It was a good show where I shared the stage with Theresa & Awendile at a Manica Stadium in Mozambique, when I played before a huge audience.
Fans embraced me from start to finish.
- EMBARRASSING MOMENT(S)
I vividly remember this day well.
Recently, I was invited to play at a wedding function by a fellow South Africa based gospel artiste only to be told of a different programme on arrival.
- COVID-19 ROLE
I think this area is covered well all I can continue to do is to give hope to the people through the Gospel message of Hope in my songs.
My simple message to all Zimbabweans in panic mode is “if Covid-19 is deemed to be everywhere, God is also everywhere, where Covid-19 is’.
In as much as we may follow all Covid-19 protocol, lets ‘vaccinate’ our Spirit person by seeking God first, who is the Author of lives.
- HIDDEN TALENT
Besides music, I like video filming too.
I have done all video production personally on my first two 2 albums and hope to take it to another level.
I also wanna learn to play other musical instruments to help in my music production capabilities.
- SPECIAL THANKS
First and foremost, I give credit to my producer Solomon ‘King Solo’ Simbi for always maintaining the sound that plays in my mind.
Secondly, I would like to thank Nicholas Musonza, a game changer in my music.
I also give credit to Carol Muzambi and Nashe Ayret for their great voices on backings.
We also want to thank our fans, promoters and media – both print and electronic!
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