When Jamaica Meets Zimbabwe: Hwindi President Releases New Tune ‘Taponda Nhamo’ With Dwayno

by Takudzwa Hillary Chiwanza

Zvatanga! Boss of the Road ... Downtown we run, atta like fyah wi bun ... Vhunza mahwindi pamushikashika! Chema ndachema ndachema ...


‘Boss of the Road’, as Hwindi President is affectionately known by his loyal listeners, is one ZimDancehall chanter with enviable talent and tenacity; a man whose life story inspires confidence and motivation both in music terms and persistent elevation in this absurdity called the fight for survival.

Hwindi president ft dwayno song taponda nhamo artwork

Bessel Mugo Parewa – Hwindi Prezident’s real name –  spits on the mic with a single, all-encompassing motive, and that is singing sense. His is an impeccable ability with melodies on baad dancehall riddims/beats to convey meaning. Substance. Positive messages.  And one cannot afford to gloss over the fact that Hwindi President – the face of Chitungwiza’s Bhema Valley – is simply good at what he does. Effortlessly for that matter.

Hwindi President’s dancehall exudes blissful magic. The Tambirai Monarch hitmaker has consistently fought for the dignity of hwindis in Zimbabwe’s gruelling political economy.  He gave mahwindi a voice, and continues to address various social messages from a hwindi perspective.

Of course, the reggae and dancehall prowess reigning supreme in Zimbabwe is a phenomenon attributable to one root source: Jamaica. ZimDancehall draws immense inspiration from Jamaican ReggaeDancehall in its entirety – the former being one of Zimbabwe's dominant artistic movements in the country’s urban culture. And as it permeates to the rural peasantry where the genre is not an alien one.

Zimbabwe’s affectionate relations with Jamaica particularly in the music arena can be traced to Bob Marley’s iconic Rufaro Stadium performance when the country attained its independence from British colonial rule in 1980. Both Jamaica and Zimbabwe are former British colonies. The quintessential act of solidarity that established synergies between Zimbabwe and Jamaica is mirrored in Bob Marley's eternal hit Zimbabwe which he penned solely for us (as 263 inhabitants and Africa at large). For our independence. For our past, present, and future.

Ever since Bob Marley stepped on Zimbabwean soil, ReggaeDancehall in Zimbabwe proliferated exponentially – a massive cultural, artistic, political, social, and economic movement that later on assumed its own distinctive name: Zimbabwean Dancehall, or, shortly, ZimDancehall.

When reggae and dancehall became an entrenched genre in Zimbabwe’s music spaces –  with the genre maximized as a vehicle for spreading positive messages to the masses – several other Jamaican artists made it their resolute intention to keep visiting the country for performances.

Capleton, Popcaan, Sizzla Kalonji, Mavado, Chris Martin, Busy Signal, Luciano, Turbulence, Kalado, Beenie Man, I-Octane, and several others are some of the notable names to have graced Zimbabwean stages with riveting performances that always left fans clamouring for more.

The influence of reggae in Zimbabwe’s artistic contexts can be evidenced on Thomas Mapfumo’s legendary songs Mugara Ndega and Zimbabwe Mozambique. His 1985 album Chimurenga For Justice (the album with the track Mugara Ndega) and the others that followed after that are heavily inundated with reggae influences – the euphoric, optimistic, and emancipatory sound of time. And even now, in the contemporary, though such a sound is often drowned by commercialized versions of music that do not command much profoundly meaningful substance.

One can hazard to say that apart from the rock-solid foundation laid by Bob Marley, we have Thomas Mapfumo and many of his other contemporaries then such as John Chibadura for showing that the Jamaican sound is perfect for conveying our own contextually relevant art. But such a discourse as of now is a massive digression.

Jamaican artists love Zimbabwe, the same way that Zimbabwean artists love Jamaica. And one of such artists from Jamaica with undying love for this country is Dwayno (real name Dwayne Forrester). He represents contemporary waves of dancehall in Jamaica but is ever-loyal to the basics of the culture.

Dwayno’s dancehall is as authentic and refreshing as it can get. Most may not be familiar with identifying the name Dwayno and how it is related to 876, but he is not some random new guy on the block trying to break into markets. He is a loyal servant to the game. The culture. Dwayno featured on Vybz Kartel’s 2012 song Don A Road.

It is totally understandable for the average listener of Zimbabwe Dancehall to arrive at conclusive assumptions that Dwayno has some sort of permanent residence in Zimbabwe. Because of how he frequently collaborates with ZimDancehall’s genius and talented artists.

In 2016, Dwayno visited Zimbabwe where he had the opportunity to “work with a number of local producers like Fireking [Conquering Music], Mount Zion, Chillspot, Cymplex, Marlon Tee and Shumba Fashion”.

Dwayno has three collaborations with the late iconoclast Soul Jah Love (the first one came in 2017);   Life Ah Nuh Game, Signature, and No Time. He has a song (2017) with Guspy Warrior called Di Gal Deh.

On More Entertainment Riddim by Cymplex Music, Dwayno has a tune titled Summer Is On. On Foreign Pamutabhera Riddim by Chillspot Recordz he has a song called Surround Me. A tentative cover on his Instagram tells us he  is working on a collaboration with respected ZimDancehall artist ‘Mr Mbare’  Kinnah.

Against the backdrop of such an impressive track record (literally), Dwayno’s collaboration with Hwindi Prezident reveals an unwavering and marvellous continuity to the solidarity that Dwayno shows Zimbabwe's ReggaeDancehall. Hwindi President relied on excellent production from the talented Tipe Productions in the new track Taponda Nhamo (or Ndakaponda Nhamo) which features Jamaican artist Dwayno. The two titles are being used interchangeably presumably depending on the conveniences of one's tongue.

This is not the first time these two have collaborated, as they have worked together since circa 2017 – in 2021 Hwindi President was featured on the song Badman Greater off Dwayno's album Land of Paradise which sees the Jamaican chanter making intelligible overtures towards chanting in Shona. He pays immense homage and respect to Zimbabwe in that album, with a track that's even titled Zim Ancestors.

Ndakaponda Nhamo, or Taponda Nhamo, is a song in which we see the two artists making a valiant attempt to make Zimbabwe and Jamaica a single entity as far as art is concerned. An attempt achieved with some fairly remarkable success.

Delivered in the sonically apt hardcore manner of dancehall sounds whose motifs centre around urban street consciousness in low-income neighbourhoods (pejoratively called ghettos), the song Taponda Nhamo preaches hard work, love, tenacity, street cred; on the overall, a hustlers’ anthem.

It raises the consciousness that emphasizes how poverty perennially imprisons Black people whether in St. Catherine, Jamaica; or in Mutare, Zimbabwe.

A big motivational message. The artists make it clear enough that as Africans on the continent and in the diaspora our common enemy is poverty. They do not explain why Black people all over the world are prejudiced but the message is profound in its elegant simplicity.

Ndakaponda nhamo’ – I have destroyed/defeated poverty.  A defiant yet celebratory tone.

With Tipe’s exquisite production that makes the song an embodiment of collective African art, Dwayno sounds comfortable on the riddim – a riddim with profound lyrics aimed at resonating in the streets of both Harare and Kingston.

Hwindi President delivers his bars in Jamaican Patois while Dwayno chants in ChiShona. Dwayno's use of Shona shows someone who truly loves Zimbabwean culture; it is some top-notch stuff; it is exceedingly excellent in every sense of the word.

Because ZimDancehall artists are by default acquainted with singing in Patois tones and accents, Hwindi President’s Patois verses are lovely. The language exchange they employed  shows two artists who have immense respect for each other’s countries and their cultures. And that is by all measure a lovely thing to witness.

And yeah, we need more of Dwayno conflated with ZimDancehall. It is an art he conveys with regal confidence.

It is blissful when Zimbabwe and Jamaica meet. Such inimitable artistic brilliance and intelligence. Credits to Tipe Production for bringing this magic to life. And perhaps it’s now time to give Dwayno Zim citizenship status...

You can listen or download Ndakaponda Nhamo/Taponda Nhamo by Dwayno & Hwindi President via the links below and tell us what you think:

Taponda Nhamo mp3 download

Takaponda Nhamo mp3 download

Stream Taponda Nhamo here


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