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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.

A Holstar/ Slam Dunk Records CEO-Manager Interlude...

Duncan Sodala: Slam Dunk Records CEO and Manager of Zone Fam, aka Holstar, hip hop artist and poet, is the first male MUNTU on MbA.  Here is a bit more of his creative work for you to enjoy:

My favourite Holstar poem, that I was privileged to hear live at a BitterSweet Poetry Zambia event:

Part 1

I wake up every morning and who do I see?

In the mirror it's a stranger that happens to be; me!
The Life I live unbearable, the prospects terrible and though I work hard for better things not legible,
A Child soldier in a civil war the fight is pointless...rough, rugged and raw - in the night I'm jointless,
I can't battle I've been paralyzed, bitten by snakes as the gats rattle and I can't devise,
With sheisty eyes I look up! At the sky I mourn lost ones...some took the bullet others divorced guns,
The Big powers stare pityful, time is critical, when the candle wasn't lit for you...
This can't be true we're, we're liberated but still bound in chains - educated but still the brain drains!
A headstone marked with not a single name reads ===> "Victim of Circumstance" No one to blame...

Holstar performing Child Solider at
BitterSweet meets Zone Fam
May 2012
Part 2

We're in the middle of combat, conflicting - we're time shifting
Just corporals low grade and time ticking

The enemy is stronger, we're fighting a losing battle
It's like an army of ants against a herd of cattle
This is Waterloo, Chino/Japanese, more like Franco/Prussian~
The confusion - the tactic form a kraal like Shaka Zulu pawns
But to no avail diminish one by one we're in a living hell
We can't rebel against the leadership; our fathers fathers brothers
It's like a sailor sink a ship our mothers sisters lovers
Hide from reality when even under covers
We try to manage day by day by can't revive the other
They're long gone, the left after maybe gone home
Is their a Heaven for a child born? In a struggle for the air I inhale
Many can tell; this is the Gospel of a child's tale

Part 3

The last chapter filled with bloody gory
As we reach the end of this story
To all the comrades that might know me
I salute and honor, after the rain came with no armour
We undetected like a stealth bomber
Still missing like we Osama
We're in the jungle with gorillas, but not a gangster unit
We're rebelious, spread through many areas - various
No need for 21 shots, rarely any bury us
We're trapped in the ground, the lost and the found
Bones thrown at the throne of kings from the dome
It was prophesied apocalypse, Genesis, 2pacalypse
Written on the wall, can't they just decrypt the Hieroglyphs?
The Catalyst is the precious rock down under!
We're in a third world still man, it's no wonder...
More hunger as the polls blunder...
The wrong features on the main news, as the world grieves us!

This song is the first release from Holstar's collabo with producer Teck-Zilla.  I love this track, it's the perfect soundtrack for a sunny day in the garden sipping vino :)

This is his latest previously unreleased track, another smooth groove...

Here are Slam Dunk CEO and Zone Fam Manager picks:

Intro to Zone Fam's latest album release, Foreign Exchange, by Holstar (hmmm wonder why he picked that ;}):

A Zone Fam Camp remix:

Zone Fam's break out hit on the continent:

Monday, 4 June 2012

Chipolopolo Stunner

Time to get back to the drawing board, we
have some wrinkles to iron out!
 Do not let the title of this post confuse you.  We were not the "Stunners" we were at AFCON earlier this year, what was stunner about our first World Cup qualifying match is that we lost in the most humiliating fashion to Sudan.  I cannot describe how I feel any better than with my Facebook status update after the stunner of a loss:

Chipolopolo check your aim: instead of shooting down hawks in the desert, you have wounded your own people! My heart is bleeding, this is not the way champions reach higher heights. You are with the big boys now, step it up!

You can see just how stunned (yes I keep using the word coz I mean we were just blindsided man!) the nation was by the articles like this one in the Lusaka Times.  We couldn't even write about the defeat in detail it was so painful.  For a full breakdown of the match you can read this article and SuperSport really added insult to injury by juxtaposing how Les Éléphants have bounced back from their runners-up effort at AFCON to win their first qualifing match 2-0 against Tanzania while we fell from grace 2-0 to Sudan :(.

When you are at the top, to stay there you need to work harder and keep improving and not rest on your laurels as everyone is gunning to topple you to prove they are the best!  And Sudan have brought us from heights that quite clearly have made us dizzy-drunk with glory that we have been blinded into thinking the World Cup qualification is going to just fall into our laps! Sudan made this sobering episode in our post-AFCON history even worse as they infuriatingly performed every dirty trick in the book to waste time, fake injury and slow play down in a myriad of ways.  Really they should be ashamed of themselves, that sort of play does not belong in football, it sullies the beautiful game...Drogba looks like a saint when compared to the actions of the Sudanese team on Saturday! To further describe the disappointment and rage my beloved national team invoked with their lacklustre performance, I quote excerpts of my whatsapp convo with SPORTS GUZA:

SPORTS GUZA (SG): Is the game on SuperSport? ZNBC has no picture!

MbA: No

SG: OMG! 1st game after AFCON and we get this?

MbA: It took so long for ZNBC to confirm they would have a feed so not surprised they mucked up

SG: Idiots

MbA: They do this for the Ghana game next week there'll be riots coz that game is more important

SG: Yeah and it's on home ground

MbA: Exactly no excuse

We then decided to have radio silence till the game was over but then after the 2nd goal SPORTS GUZA, who had enacted the silence was the first to break it:

SG: Ouchhhhhhhhhh this really sucks

MbA: Dude! This is pitiful, Renard is even subdued! AFCON has past we need to prove ourselves all over again and not rest on our laurels.  So frigging upset. I know we are playing away but jeez we have a full team

SG: Yup and it proves what I said all the teams we will be playing want to prove something

MbA: Of course when you are at the top everyone wants to pull you down.  You have to work even harder to stay at the heights after you have climbed up there!

SG: The national soccer team hasn't had any practice since our win, FAZ claimed they didn't need it...Instead they were busy running with the trophy all over the country

MbA: I'm so angry I could shoot these bullets with my own copper

SG: From your wiring in the house?

MbA: AFCON is gone we have a new challenge, the World Cup won't just drop in our laps from the sky! Ha ha ha foolish, I have my own mine.

Full time is called and we have lost 2-0 to Sudan.

MbA: No words. Will have to blog about this when I calm down!

SG: Do so tomorrow: Talk about the lack of preparedness i.e. no friendlies, arriving in Sudan at midnight the day of the match, experimental formation, trophy tour and next week...

MbA:  Dude I'm speechless, tomorrow I shall write and post Monday.  Ivorians, Ghanaians, Eygytians all off to good starts jeez!

I was rendered speechless, a state normally foreign to me, but now I have regrouped and although this loss was painful, we can bounce back and World Cup qualification is still within our reach.  WE CANNOT PLAY LIKE THIS AGAINST THE BLACK STARS NEXT WEEK!!!!! So here are some things for the team to ponder, rectify and/ or take into account to regroup and remember how to be champions before next Saturday at Levy Stadium in Ndola:

Coach Renard: Have you been spending too much time washing your white shirts with all the free Boom detergent you have been supplied with now that you endorse the brand and not enough time figuring out strategy? Is your shirt so blindingly white now that the one you were wearing on the sidelines obscured your view with brightness so you couldn't see how Sudan kwempad us coz I didn't see your usual frenetic shouting of direction and encouragement during the course of the match? I suggest you go back to AFCON ways, the detergent you were using before kept your shirts white and your coaching skills were not affected.

Christopher Katongo:  Though you did try to motivate by example as you did at AFCON you were still not as effective as you were in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.  With 3 endorsements, I think that you have had too much money to spend so you think you have made it and do not need to do as much work now that you are a champion.  To stay a champion and a great leader you have to keep working hard so get it together.

Mayuka: Were you even on the pitch?!  

Mweene: That farm you have been given coupled with the free Pepsi you are getting from that endorsement deal are making you fat on chicken and soda. Plus I'm sure you are eating desert too with free Parmalat custard (though I don't blame you that stuff is crack and heaven in a carton)!  If that is not true, then how were you not agile enough to stop being hoodwinked not once but TWICE!!!! And the second time was worse, they caught you napping coz you were busy yapping!  My favourite Chipolopolo, please do not cause me pain, life is hard enough as it is...

The rest of you, what is your explanation?! Find out what went wrong and fix it!!!!  I shall be checking in on you next week...