18 October 2018
…I won’t quit turntables, mic
…I sting like a mosquito
…I’ve rural folks @ heart
BULILIMA West legislator, Dingumuzi Phuti, says he was once dumped in a restaurant by his girlfriend.
Better known as DJ Phuti in showbiz circles, the 38-year-old made history after being elected among the new breed of young law-makers says he was humiliated but it is now a moment he laughs about when the then girlfriend Jennifer Maneni called it quits in a restaurant.
“I was once humiliated at Afro-fusion Restaurant which used and still remains my favourite joint.
“I was dating Jennifer Maneni (gospel diva) and my family knew about her and she used to stay with some of my clothes at her place which she threw at me at this popular eatery.
“She brought my clothes in a plastic bag and threw them at me when all who dared looked.
“I was just a poor man.
“Afterwards, it dawned to me that it was over between me and here and I simply moved on but we are still in talking terms,” DJ Phuti said.
The MP who was once a DJ however says with the new challenge in place, he won’t hang the microphone and turntables.
He reckons it was radio, television and music which came first before he pursued another calling to serve the people in Plumtree as a politician.
- NEW RESPONSIBILITY
And now that he is now a legislator, DJ Phuti has vowed to change people’s lives in his constituency who are marginalised.
“In my constituency, we are lagging behind and there is need for infrastructural and socio-economic development,” he says.
“In my constituency, people only know about self-emancipation since most of the people in the area are in diaspora and what they earn came out of hard work after visiting neighbouring countries like South Africa and Botswana.
“As their MP, I will use my influence to ensure that we have development since our road network is poor while there is need to address the provision of safe drinking water.
“Our people also needed to be empowered economically.
“For instance, we are near one of the busiest border posts – Maitengwe – which needs a complete overhaul since it has been neglected for ages but it has potential to create employment there,” he says.
Unlike most rural MPs who prefer settling in the city after winning elections, DJ Phuti has a tight schedule which he religiously follows in his quest to serve the rural folk.
“I come to Harare on parliamentary business on Mondays and then stay in the capital from Tuesdays to Thursdays since I sit in a number portfolio committees.
“On Thursday night after business, I make sure I return to Plumtree where I travel around all the 13 big wards in my area meeting the electorate.
“I also have a team on the ground that I work with which helps me to disseminate some of the issues tabled here in Parliament.
“So what it means is that I have Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to move around the constituency compiling my people’s needs as well as giving them feedback on some of the issues which they raise to us.
“I have since realised that I can’t do it on my own since there is a need for a collective effort with my team on the ground.”
As a youthful MP who made history in the Second Republic, DJ Phuti says he will not become a regular bench warmer in parliament.
“One of my major responsibilities in my constituency is to enlighten people end he donor syndrome and work for themselves.
“As the young blood, I want to see people in all the awards working hard to ensure that we end poverty and safeguard our independence.
“I’m going to take the campaign to all the awards in my area and things are beginning to shape up on the ground.”
- YOUTHS & INFLUENCE
The former National FM and ZTV producer/presenter says the young MPs in parliament will not only add numbers but change the game.
“When you see me, obvious you see a young person but I sting like a mosquito, which can kill.
“In this case, we are ready to play our part through hard work, research and direct contribution to Government programmes.
“Over the years, the youths have always showed us that they can make it if given the opportunity.
“This was the case with our President Mnangagwa who became a Minister of State in 1980 when he was around 34, which means the leadership had started grooming him when he was around 30 or so.
“This is the same scenario we have been given and we are already changing people’s lives and people in our constituency can testify because we are always there with them,” he says.
- REAL CALLING
DJ Phuti is one rare legislator who does not take politics as a career but as an opportunity to change people’s lives using his influence in power.
“To me, I don’t consider politics as a career; I’m a journalist and musicians by calling and talent.
“I will not stop singing and to date, I have released five albums namely Bhasikili Huya Unditole released in 2003, Gamu Langu (2004) featuring Andy Brown, Masenga Huku (2013) Masula Helele (2014) and Doko Jena which is due for release soon.
“I sing in Kalanga because it resonates well with my life since I sing in my mother language.
“So since this made me popular with fans, I don’t want to be celebrated but tolerated.”
- POLITICAL CALLING
On his love for politics, DJ Phuti says he has always adored nationalists who made a distinction.
“I can safely say I have always wanted to be a politicians and I love and used to envy departed heroes like Joshua Nkomo, Jason Moyo among other luminaries.
“In 1999, I participated in the ‘Vote Yes’ campaign with an imbube group and I just fell in love with politics.
“I later enrolled at the School of African Awareness, a Pan African awareness movement where I become a complete politician.
“I was stationed in Plumtree where I rose through the ranks to be appointed in the provincial structures of the ruling party.
“In 2013, I participated in the primary election but my chance came this year when I won in the primaries and later landed this one.”
- ZBC STINT
DJ Phuti joined ZBC in 2001 where he quickly settled both as a presenter and producer.
“In 2004, I was already an executive producer and we organised the Chimoio Solidarity bash
“I later decided to leave ZBC for ZMC being lured with irresistible perks which they offered.
“At ZMC, I was influential in identifying talented artistes like Beatar Mangethe, Suluman Chimbetu, Tryson Chimbetu among others.
“Prior to me joining ZMC, I was running Kwakalulama Record Label which recorded a number of artistes like Freddy Gwala, the late Paul Matavire among other little known artistes.
“In 2008, I left and joined South Africa based Mobile Music Trust and it was the same stable which brokered the deal for the distribution of Alick Macheso’s album Ndezvashe-H!”
- DIAMOND WAR
However, DJ Phuti was sued when he left ZMC along with other artistes like Suluman and joined Diamond Studios.
“We were sued for snatching Sulu from ZMC but the money we paid was nothing as compared to the money we made from the sales of artistes’ albums,” he said.
Prior to his departure from Diamond Studios, he had also discovered talented artistes.
“I had identified Jah Prayzah who used to beg us for a recording contract and I told Phathisani Sibanda (now Star FM presenter) and John Muroyi to look after him.
“When I left, he had recorded the album Ngwarira Kuparara, which endeared him with fans.
“So all my life, I have been playing my part in helping people and I am glad I can still empower people to do what they love most.
“And now that I’m a parliamentarian, I can’t stop helping artistes,” he said.
- LOVE LIFE
Unlike most wheel-spinner who are not comfortable opening up about their marital status, DJ Phuti is completely the opposite.
“I’m happily married to Lisa and we are blessed with two children – Setho, a boy and Mandipa, a girl.
“I named Setso after my late father,” he said.
- BEST MOMENT(S)
DJ Phuti says winning the seat and meeting people in his constituency are his best moments.
“To be honest, I once lost in the 2013 primary elections but I went on to become the chief election officer for the person who won.
“I remain loyal to the party and early this year, I won the primary and went on to land the big one.
“Each time I think of this victory and course meeting my people in Plumtree, I feel happy.”
- BRIEF PROFILE
DJ Phuti was born on the 14th of April 1980 at Luveve Clinic in Bulawayo but was raised in Plumtree.
In his family, they are eight – four boys and four girls.
His father Setso died in in 2005 but his mother Cathrine is still alive.
He studied journalism at Christian College of Southern Africa before he enrolled at Zimbabwe Open University where he studied Media Studies.