Dancehall King relives magic White House moment

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Sinikiwe Marodza

Harare - When he left his home in Mufakose, a high-density suburb in Harare, for South Africa in search of greener pastures two decades ago, his dream was to someday become a superstar and rub shoulders with who’s who of showbiz.

For Buffalo Souljah (real name Thabani Ndlovu), it is a dream come true.

Now one of the most powerful voices in dancehall in Africa, Buffalo Souljah has more than 10 prestigious awards to his name.

But for all the fame and the glory, his highlight remains being invited to the US White House in 2015 by the then President Barrack Obama to perfom at the African Summit.

“Besides winning Channel O Awards, Afrimma and other awards, I think the best thing that has ever happened to me and my career as a musician was to be invited to the White House by President Barrack Obama in 2015.

“That to me is a big step considering my back ground and everything. When I came to South Africa, I dreamt of rubbing shoulders with South Africa’s big names like Hugh Masekela, Lira and the likes but to be invited to America and have a face to face with the White House is something I never thought it could happen to me,” he says.

His music is now played across the Caribbean, where dancehall’s finest come from. He records on the same riddims as the likes of Movado, Beenie Man and Alkaline.

It is thus little wonder that many consider Buffalo Souljah the King of African Dancehall.

Flashing back to the late 90s and early 2000 when Buffalo Souljah started his music career and pursued into dancehall, there were not so many dancehall artistes in Africa.

“I have been pushing dancehall for almost 20 years now. I came to South Africa in 2000 and I have been in the music industry since then. In fact I was in the music industry before I moved to South Africa, so yeah, I have been in pushing dancehall music for a very long time now.

“When I started to pursue dancehall, there were not so many dancehall artistes in Africa. I think there were two or three musicians who were really serious about dancehall when I started,” he recalls.

Twchnology, he says, makes it easier for artistes to get their big break.

“When I started, things were not as easy as they are now. Technology wasn’t too expensive to keep up with, unlike these days.

“However, I have always been one of those people who moves with time. It’s best for the rising stars and even those who have established their names in the music industry to be more active on social media and every other platform that the Internet offers.

“It really helps in terms of growing, marketing your work as well as creating a fan base and link with the international world. Your music should reach out all corners of the world, that way you are guaranteed of a brighter future.”

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