Biggest Takeaways From Trevor's Conversation with Asaph

Award-Winning Hip Hop Artist ASAPH sat down for a conversation with Trevor Ncube to discuss his origins, the recent MTV Music Africa Awards nomination, Ugandan leader Bobi Wine, music and his creative process. We summarized the conversation and below are the biggest takeaways

"I feel like my music can be a tool to keep people motivated and inspired to say that no matter how tough things may seem, here is a 3 minute song to lift your spirit and encourage you to look forward to the next day." 

Asaph came ahead of Winky D, Gemma Griffiths and Sha Sha for a MTV Africa Awards 2021 nomination

"Huge honor to represent the country on a continent stage as a Hip Hop artist from Bulawayo, a real opportunity to uplift a lot of people who feel like they cannot achieve much because of where they come from. I hope this is an inspiration for people whether from Mutare, Masvingo, or Vic Falls, you can really standout and shine for Zimbabwe" Says the Rapper to Trevor. "It's a stamp of approval and maturity" he explains. "Being exposed to a new level of music and mentioned in the same conversation with Jah Prayzah or Winky D really shows the level that I have grown to and the level of work that is now expected of me. This is were the work starts, the beginning." He continues, "Hip Hop is not the biggest genre in the country but hopefully this opportunity can shine a light on this growing genre." He jokes, "It feels like what Kirsty Coventry must have felt whilst representing Zimbabwe at the Olympics."

However, the 2021 MTV Awards in Uganda were cancelled because of an online campaign that raised awareness to the human rights abuses that occured  just before the Uganda Presidential elections, in particular the way fellow musician Bobi Wine was treated. "When the announcement came that the Awards might not be happening because of this situation, the Artist in me was a bit disappointed, because I was so excited and really wanted to hear the result but the human in me was also thinking if this was happening in Zimbabwe I would also want the same solidarity from my fellow Africans."

Asaph's message to Bobi Wine: "He should remain inspiring the people, remain being a beacon of hope because you never know what your life can bring about even though you feel like you have lost and everything is against you. Your resilience, courage and strength can inspire a whole generation and also people from other countries experiencing the same situation. So, no matter what it feels like, even if your life is in danger, keep going, you will never know what your resilience means to someone who is watching and that could be the person who brings about change. It's bigger that who you are, It's bigger than Uganda, I really feel Africa needs more young leaders who are not afraid to stand for what they believe in."

He started off rapping about his personal life and his immediate environment but his music has since grown to reflect social issues and injustices. This inspired a project titled 'The People's Rapper' released in 2019. "I really believe that I have been given a voice or an opportunity and platform to speak for and to the people. So no matter what the issues happening, I need to find a way to communicate hope and make people feel like they are being spoken to." Says the Rapper.

In 2020 when the #ZimbabweanLivesMatter movement happened, he released a song called Aspheli Moya, which basically means we never give up, we never get tired. "I feel like my music can be a tool to keep people motivated and inspired to say that no matter how tough things may seem, here is a 3 minute song to lift your spirit and encourage you to look forward to the next day." He explains. "There is a song I did called 'Real Ones' which is basically a prayer saying my Lord, I hope you make a way for the real ones." He continues.

Asaph defines Hip Hop as a "lifestyle" where young people express themselves through dancing, graffiti and rapping

He was born on the 11th of January 1992 in Bulawayo as Tafadzwa Tarukwana and started rapping as KwanFire, a name his High School friends had given him.

His parents were church pastors

Asaph grew up listening to Gospel Music in the household and fell in love with Hip Hop one night after his father brought a Wiztech decoder, which played a Snoop Dogg and Pharrell music video immediately after being set up. He liked the confidence and bravado that the rappers show and new he needed that type of energy to go through High School.  He started off in group cyphers, reciting lyrics from famous songs and then eventually started writing his own lyrics. 

In 2011, Asaph spend a year in Eswatini doing a Bible School internship for a Non Governmental Church Organization. "I always loved to read the dictionary and find new words for rhyming purposes. I had an index of Hebrew names so that's where I found the name Asaph and really liked the meaning. I also like the characters in the bible and what they stood for." He explains. "The name means Jehovah has gathered and I m someone who has been put in a position to gather the whole nation of young Zimbabweans behind the same idea. I believe I can be used as an agent of change, to inspire and motivate young people especially Zimbabweans to think differently."

Asaph believes young Zimbabweans should stop looking outside for what is cool and trendy from countries like South Africa and Nigeria while neglecting to find that thing about us as Zimbabweans that makes us special that we can stand behind and contribute to the world. 

Watch the rest of the interview below:

Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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