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Dunamis stays in the game

Business

…reneges on his call to quit

Chris Theko

Veteran Hip Hop artiste Dunamis has backtracked on his decision to call-it-a-day musically after his earlier announcement that his 2020 album offering ‘Undefeated’ would be his last studio album.

Born Retšelisitsoe Molefe in Ha Mabote, Berea, the muso told Newsday Arts in an interview this week that the past decade and half that he has spent dealing music, has taught him that for an artist to release an album takes a lot more than what they feel or think.

“You can never know the perimeters of music, you will never know and say this is how far I am going because your far is not the same as God’s plans for you.

“I could still say no there won’t be an album but it will all depend on where I will be at the time and I might find myself doing an album because of how I am feeling currently.

“An album is a package of experiences; there are a whole lot of those so I could be in that state, however I am not in a hurry yet if I ever feel like there are certain things that are not addressed automatically it says I should do it. 

The name Dunamis is derived from the Greek word meaning dynamite coming in small packages, and was given to him by his friend, GLXRY, who believed it would attest to the impact that he was to have on the continent’s music industry.

Busting onto the scene over 15 years ago with the release of his debut studio album titled ‘Mustard Seed’ in 2007, Dunamis went on to release ‘The Glory and Da Street’ in 2011 which was followed by ‘G.O.D (God of Dunamis)’in 2016.

In 2020 he released what he had thought would be his last studio album titled ‘Undefeated’.

Since the first album Dumamis has kept a pattern of a four-year gap in between his albums which he attributes to the fact that he does not believe in saturating his audience with a lot of music.

He believes that one of his biggest achievements was giving a platform to other artists who needed a hand even in life generally and not just musically. Through his KOL (Kingdom of Lesotho Productions) label, he has managed to put on to the spotlight a number of acts such as Getto Iz, KI, Axomind, to name a few. 

He says however, that his musical journey has not been a bed of roses highlighting that he has had his fair share of difficulties and public spats.

He remembered a particular incident which he says almost tore him apart totally, when he was misinterpreted for a comment he had made on one South African television show called Shizmiz on etv.

“When I was on etv and I was asked if there are rappers in Lesotho and I said ‘here I am’ and it was misconstrued as me saying I am the only one, that to me was almost the breaking point of my career because I got so hurt. The hurt was emanating from knowing that I was not saying I’m the only rapper in Lesotho but I got misinterpreted,” he reminisced. 

A believer rooted in Christ, Dunamis attributes his way of doing things to the way God molded him which he says has been the biggest motivator in his music career and life in general. 

He also attributes his success in the music industry to his character saying he has an approach to life that is different from others. 

Among his many accolades over the years, was winning an award in the South African Music Awards (SAMA) in the best South Sotho category for his song Fabia Jo featuring Jane le Sam in 2009. He is the first Mosotho hip hop artiste to have his music videos aired on foreign media including South African television stations such as Channel O, Trace, SABC and Etv amongst others. 

“I attribute my breakthroughs and successes to my character because my personality in how I reach people, how I understand myself and identity. I am that person who is full of self-belief and growth,” Dunamis said.

Explaining the message behind all of his albums, the rapper said all of them were in tandem with his vision with each having its own meaning.

“The ‘Mustard seed’ was more of a motivation where I was saying you might look small but you are capable of becoming something big. That’s exactly what happened with me, coming from a small country but managed big things.

“Then I moved to ‘The glory and da street’ in which I talked directly to the people who listen to this music we do who are half the time demeaned. Just like Jesus who moved around spreading the word of God to the masses from the thieves to the prostitutes.

“G.O.D was more of, now that the glory is in the street, realize yourself know your worth, know who you are made of because the Bible talks of the God of Abraham, so I personalized it and made Him mine too (God of Dunamis), and eventually to become ‘Undefeated,” he said.

He says after the fourth album, he felt that the circle was complete hence the thought of calling it a day after that offering.  

With a career that has spanned a decade and half, Dunamis believes that Lesotho has a capable entertainment industry that lacks support to be able to function at its optimal best. 

The veteran rapper is currently, focused on working with giving a push to the other artists since he believes that everyone needs to be given a chance to redeem themselves and become the best version of themselves.

“The rejected stone is usually the cornerstone; the one that the builders reject can be the most important of them all,” he stated.

Testament to that is his recent collaboration with controversial rapper Robocop with whom they released a spiritual hip hop track titled ‘Leseli’ alongside Keneuoe. The song has already gone beyond the local media space breaking into some of the major South African spaces such as Channel O, Y FM and a top 30 entry on Lesedi FM.

“I only agreed to the song because of the type of song it is what the massage behind it was, believing it would heal a lot of people,” he said.

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