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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

MUNTU: Zed Series - Duncan Sodala: Slam Dunk Records CEO and Manager of Zone Fam aka Holstar, Zambian Hip Hop Artist And Poet

This interview was conducted in July 2011.  I have not posted it because 1. I am useless and 2. I also I needed a  segment of video edited and did not have the tools on my computer to do so he he he, which further enabled my procrastination.  This is the first male MUNTU, and I must say I could not have picked a better specimen to kick-off representation of Zed dudes.  

Nationality/ies: Zambian
Age: 30
Countries you have lived and studied in: Zambia, South Africa
African countries you have visited:  Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe
Education:  Diploma in Information Management, Institute for Management For Information Systems, (IMIS)
Profession(s):  Record Label CEO and Manager of Zone Fam, Compliance Officer for a Pension Fund
Personal Interests:  Music, Art, Poetry, Community Work, Youth Empowerment
Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blog, Website): HolstarSlam Dunk Records Ceo,  Slam Dunk Records Zambia@SDRCEO, SlamDunkRecordsTV website and YouTube channel,  Holstar on ReverbNation

10 Questions

Muntu means person in the tongue of Mwana ba Afrika’s mothers before her.  As an acronym it stands for: 

Man (because I am male)






This is how I see myself and Zambia at the moment.  I trying to bring something new and hip to the table while serving my people at the same time.

Describe yourself in 3 words, list 4 things you that make you happy and describe Africa in 10 words.

3: Ambitious, Understanding, Personable.

4: Interacting with and making people happy. Spending time with Family. Achieving something, particularly when people say I can’t gives me great satisfaction.  Reconnecting with old friends, like I am with you right now.

10: Potentially the new world. Challenged internally but destined for greatness.

Recommend 3 websites, blogs and/ or books, 4 movies and/ or series and 10 songs and/ or music videos.

3: Of course I have to promote my own site:  From there you can visit the other sites and blogs I’m affiliated with.  

MS TV ran by artist Mufasa Shulizee keeps me up-to-date with music from Zed and Africa to stuff coming out  of the US.

Letters to a Young Sister by Hill Harper  
Everything he talks about in this book is what people should look up to and be inspired by regardless of their gender.

4: Heroes: get the whole DVD set, it is an amazing series.  I am an Anime fan, if I had to pick one film it would be Narutu.  I enjoyed the Hollywood film 10000 BC, it was funny and epic.  The Lost Boys is a great vampire flick.


1. Unthinkable by Alicia Keys

2. Get Out by Zubz

He is a Zambian rapper who grew up in Zimbabwe and is based in South Africa.   This release was controversial as it talks about kicking out the oppressor.   The video showed  on Etv and SABC and within a month there were complaints.  It went to court and it was banned!

3. Thula by Young N9ne  

This Zambian singer/ rapper is based in the USA and really talented girl.  This is the first song I heard and it’s still my favourite from her.

4. Dear Future by Dope G ft Holstar and produced by Tekzilla.  

Beautiful song. 

5. Aston Martin Music by Rick Ross ft Drake

6. What She Said by Holstar ft CeeCeefied

7. Shaka Zulu on Em by Zone Fam  

This was my group’s breakout song: it has done wonders for us, people love it!

8. Asinamali by Tumi and the Volume

9. Power by Kanye West

10. Rolling by Chamillionaire

What have you or do you contribute to Zambia’s development economically, politically and/ or socially?

Duncan and his hip hop group Zone Fam
I have been especially dedicated to developing, cultivating and showcasing hip hop music in Zambia. We have come from a point where in 2004-5 there was no one listening to us, instead they were choosing to listen to international acts.  We only had one show on Zed radio playing locally produced stuff, now we have 5 or 6 shows across stations dedicated to this genre of music.  I have also made sure to be a part of many of the organisations that have helped to bring this about. I want to give a voice to those that wouldn’t otherwise be heard.  I promote whatever I can in the hopes they get the platform to showcase their talent that they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.

I worked in youth media, in the sound engineering department for the radio show TrendSetters that has now evolved into the multimedia group Media 365.  I also worked for Bwafano Home-based Care for HIV/AIDS in Chazanga Compound in Lusaka.  They are the lifeline for 17,000 orphans.  It was a great experience as it brought home the effect this pandemic has had on our future, and fulfilling as I could see that we are taking steps to deal with the situation. 

What do you think is special about being an African man?

When you walk into a room you immediately either intimidate or are labelled.  You usually don’t turn out to be what people think you are.  I could be rich or poor, a criminal or a good guy.  We are always under- or overestimated so there is that element of surprise. 

I personally think the African man symbolises strength and not in the just in stereotypical physical sense of being able to keep a family safe from dangers and raising a proud family.

What do African men need to improve and how?

We need to learn how to work together more and network amongst ourselves.  We need to lessen the burden that African women have to bear in the family, the homestead.  This is more than just providing the money for food.  We will be making huge strides even if it is something simple such as taking just one thing off her list of things to do.

What do you think is special about the African woman?

I defer to a poem I wrote called African Woman credited under my alias Holstar:

What do African women need to improve and how?

Zambian woman have a harder time working together because of some of the constraints in society right now.   They need to find a way to rise up and stop being subservient. They should see themselves as equals they already are to African men and take charge as ultimately they are the heads of the household and in-charge of the daily activities of the family.  I will say there are women are getting educated and/ or coming back home from abroad and taking care of business here in Zambia, but there is still much room for improvement.

What role do the African diaspora and the global community have to play in the continent’s development and identity?

Both have a huge role to play. Sharing our diverse African culture with the international community and preserving it is what we on the continent need to do.  In a way our culture is seen to be dying out. We need to be at the forefront showing that it is very much alive, it is evolving and it deserves a more prominent and respected place on the global stage.

Sometimes it feels like the diaspora is not doing enough for example how BET did not air the best African act this year (2011)! Yes you gave the award but we want to see the win as that means something.

Are you satisfied with the way Zambia and Africa are portrayed in the media to the world?      
No, it’s a bit better these days but like I said no, I am not satisfied.  They don’t show the good things and the major advancements that are taking place here and in Africa.  Most us are still considered 3rd world and we need to show our achievements to move forward, especially in the tech field, as well as socially and in the medical field.  Even with HIV/ AIDS. There are huge advancements that aren’t shown, such as how in Zambia we have brought down the amount of new infections considerably.   

3 Places and/ or Things That Make Zambia Special

4 Things Duncan has Learnt From

Like this interview? Check out the other MUNTUs :).  For more of  Duncan's poetic and musical side, check out this post.

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