Zim dancehall prodigy — Winky D — might have fluffed up a huge endorsement for his song Ragga Msambo after American NBA Women’s champion Te’a Cooper gave nod to the hit.
Apparently, not only did Cooper give the song the thumbs-up in a video posted on her Instagram account but also she wished Winky D a happy birthday when he turned 38 on 1 February.
“@Winkydonline happy birthday,” Cooper tweeted.
But much to the bemusement of his followers, Winky D, born Wallace Chirimuko, never responded in time; in fact, there was an outcry why the Gaffa took long to reply.
Was Winky D gazing at some slay queen on Instagram as he sang in the song Reply? Maybe or maybe not.
“Gimme gimme ragga msambo Blessed thanks,” that was all Winky D said in his reply although Cooper had indicated she wanted to learn the lyrics to the song.
“@winkydonline this my song right here lol I like tryna say whatever you saying,” Cooper wrote and captioned the tweet with laughing emojis.
According to Wikipedia, Te’a Omari Cooper (born 16 April 1997) is an American professional player for the Los Angeles Sparks in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played college basketball for the Baylor Lady Bears.
“On April 17, 2020, the Phoenix Mercury selected Cooper as the 18th pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft. Due to the global pandemic from Covid-19, Phoenix Mercury cut some of their players from the basketball team in May 2020, which included Te’a Cooper.
“Te’a Cooper is the daughter of Omar and Kindall Cooper. She has three siblings: Mia (Imani) and twins Sharife and Omar. Her brother Sharife is a point guard for the Auburn University men’s basketball team. She is also engaged to Dwight Howard.”
In the same week after Cooper posted her video lip syncing to Ragga Msambo, the song trended on #1 on YouTube.
Perhaps Winky D’s pomposity can be justified, considering that Cooper commands 106 100 followers against Winky D’s 149 000 followers on Twitter.
Cooper also follows 663 people including Winky D on Twitter while Winky D only follows 30 people.
But by and large, Cooper’s influence on fans cannot be overemphasised because the snub became a talking point.
That Cooper is a huge fan of Winky D’s also means his music had now reached far and wide even without a single international collaboration. Other Zimbabwean artists, the likes of King 98, Jah Prayzah and Sha Sha, to mention a few, only became crossover artists after collaborating with international artists.
In this day and age of digital media, international artists have learnt how to use social media platforms not only to engage with their fans but also promote their music.
Frankly speaking, it appears both Winky D and his management still have a long way to reach superstardom status.
But again, that is not out of his character as Winky D is now used to speaking through his manager — Jonathan Banda.
Sadder still, the management believes they have seen it all and know it all.
They appear as though they do not need handlers anymore to show them the way around.
Many are still wondering how Winky D missed the opportunity to promote the hit which spawned the “Ragga Msambo” dance challenge like what happened with the Jerusalema dance challenge.
The simple dance routine to the 2019 hit Jerusalema by Master KG and Nomcebo Zikode provided an uplifting soundtrack for difficult times and has now been streamed more than 60 million times on Spotify.
The upbeat song is a lamentation to God to take the singer to the heavenly city. The track topped the South African charts in December but in February, as lockdowns began looking like a possibility, it was a group of friends in Angola who shot a video dancing to the song that sparked the global trend.
The Jerusalema dance challenge was endorsed by President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of the country’s plan to open up to tourism on 1 October 2020.
That said, as at 10 February 2021 the Ragga Msambo dance challenge video on YouTube had garnered a paltry 8 217 views.
Ragga Msambo is a feel-good ditty with easy-to-follow lyrics similar to some of Winky D’s early recordings including a song called Swagga Muchando.
The Ragga Msambo dance challenge could have reached viral status had Winky D not fluffed the chance. Of particular interest is the chorus where he sings: “Gimme Gimme ragga msambo, Pandinoshaura vandihwa ndabva ndavapedzera kuti hwa, Pekete Pekete Pekete, rega ndirekete rekete rekete, pattern yadhaka vanhu kunge mudzepete varikukumbira ndavati pe pe pe.”
Since he rose to fame, Winky D has shunned the media, preferring to speak through his manager Banda save for backstage interviews.
This has remained a cause for concern for many of his followers and journalists who have in the past tried to engage him for interviews.
No doubt, Winky D is one of the best talent exports to emerge in Zimbabwe but his attitude towards fans and the media is his undoing.
The NewsHawks reached out to Banda on why the Gombwe singer took long to respond to Cooper’s tweet. As usual, the combative Banda was evasive over issue.
“What do you mean?” he said, adding: “I manage the artist and therefore it follows that (I handle) everything about him?”
When pressed further to comment on who manages Winky D’s Twitter account, he said: “The problem is you journalists, you always misquote me and I am tired of that.
The truth of the matter is we all learn from our experiences. What if Winky D responded to Cooper’s tweet via DM? Isn’t a DM on Twitter?”