12 July 2018
. . . . from the streets to music studio
WHAT started as a street freestyle act in Kempton Park has turned one boy’s dreams into reality after he landed a recording deal of a lifetime earning himself some rands along the way.
Barely two months after he was unearthed, he is now gracing the stage as Raiden although he was born as Stephen Tafadzwa Mawodzeri on 6 April 2000.
“Sometime in May we were in the streets of Kempton Park tichigadzira vanhu madreadlocks. Then there are these guys who were putting up posters for a show at House of Shisaka which featured Freeman’s Mukuru Wekambani tour. I just requested them to do a promotional video for the show for no payment. They loved my freestyling and took a video on their phones.
“The next thing I was then told that Boss Taps (Shisaka owner) wanted to see me. He told me he was impressed with my performance and wanted to help me. It was a shock for me. I was then given a slot to be a curtain raiser at Kinnah and Jah Love’s show. The fans loved my music and now I have been signed under Shisaka Entertainment and we have just recorded a six-track album which will be coming out soon,” said Raiden.
Tapuwa Shiridzinomwa who pulls the strings at Shisaka says he could not resist snapping up the boy from the streets and moulding him into a professional artist.
“When I got his freestyle video from DJ Goofyvybz and Big Fadda I was impressed. I realised he is talented and his talent should not go to waste. Raiden could have been home in Chitungwiza as his mother wanted him to go back to Zimbabwe.
“We have just signed him as our first artist and he will be one of many. We already have our studio equipment so that we provide a one-stop shop for artists who will perform at our venue,” said Boss Taps.
Raiden, who is now ginger-haired, is thrilled to be part of the main acts after a life on the streets where he had no hope of realising his dream.
“This is a dream come true. I can’t believe I am now sharing the stage with the likes of Kinnah, Soul Jah Love, Seh Calaz and others. They have been my role models and it is yet to sink,” said the 18-year-old who picked his stage name Raiden from a Mortal Kombat game character.
He is the second born in a family of three boy and his mother Marjory Raymond ekes a living in Johannesburg’s eastern suburb of Kempton Park. Raiden grew up in Chitungwiza and completed his O Levels last year at Zengeza 2 High School.
This weekend Raiden is part of the artists that will be playing at House of Shisaka that include Shinsoman, Bev & Sexy Angels and Jah Child on Saturday night.