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Be Proud Of Who You Are, Says Cameroon’s Witty Minstrel

Just the fact that I’m African makes me proud already.



Be Proud Of Who You Are, Says Cameroon's Witty Minstrel Asante Afrika Magazine
'Be Proud' Singer, Witty Minstrel

Born and raised in Cameroon, Lukong Dieudonne Yufenyuy, popularly known as Witty Minstrel, has over the years made a huge name for himself in the entertainment industry in his country. His latest single, ‘Be Proud’ (Remix) has garnered over 1,1million views on YouTube in a little over a month of being premiered, and has been a great reminder for us Africans to appreciate and celebrate who we are. I had an amazing chat with the Buea-based musician and sound engineer, and got to hear more about how the song came about, and how he got into music to begin with.

How did your stage name Witty Minstrel come about? 

I came up with the name Witty Minstrel when I was in secondary school. I really loved music with a passion and when I started writing songs I had to come up with a new name, and it was easy for me since I was a literature student. I came across the word witty and it suited my personality so well, so I adopted it, same with the word minstrel.

Minstrel – A medieval singer or musician, especially one who sang or recited lyric or heroic poetry to a musical accompaniment for the nobility.

oxford languages

What genre do you sing, and why did you choose to focus on that particular genre?  

I call my music Njang Hip Hop. I created this genre myself, and it’s a fusion of my traditional Njang music and Hip Hop. I created this because I wanted to bring something new to the music world, and I wanted to export my culture. You know I used to do Hip Hop music, but I was not successful with it because I figured that I cannot copy another man’s culture and be better than that person at it, so I decided to use my own culture to entertain the world, just like others have been doing.

You discovered your love for music at a very young age, and spent most of your days in high school and at university recording at friends’ houses. What is it about music that you enjoyed so much? 

Music is life! Music is food for the soul, and I enjoyed music so much and wanted to be one of those people that brings joy to others, not only through music, but through entertainment as a whole.

Did you study music at university? 

I actually studied sociology and anthropology, not because I wanted it to help me in my music, but because that’s just what I wanted to study. But I can’t say it hasn’t helped me in my music career either.

Be Proud Of Who You Are, Says Cameroon's Witty Minstrel Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Witty Minstrel

You recorded your first song around 2006/7 at a professional studio when you got to university. What was the song about, and can you say that your style (from your sound to the type of topics you sing about) has changed  from back then, or you’ve remained consistent?

The first song I ever recorded was in high school (St. Sylvester’s Catholic High School Sop), and the title of the song was ‘No to Corruption’. The title of my first studio album was ‘Faith to Follow’, so I don’t think that the way I used to see music back in the day has changed in any way, because till now I still have the same vision, which is sensitisation.

“Life inspired me to write ‘Be Proud’, and everything I expressed in the song was from the heart.”

You are also a passionate photographer, and you’ve worked as an action photographer. Can you tell us more about the exhibitions which you used to do? Where did you train as a photographer, or were you self-taught?

I did abstract photography but it was not for long. I worked with Em’kal Eyongakpa on a video sculpture called #Njanga Water #Rio dos Camereos, and the first exhibition we did was at Douala Art. He was an inspiration to me and he taught me a lot. I also spent most of my time at Chillen Music Studios in those days, and that also helped me to become more artistically inclined.

Be Proud Of Who You Are, Says Cameroon's Witty Minstrel Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Witty Minstrel

After you completed university, you worked as a sound engineer on movie sets. How was that experience for you, and which noteable movies did you work on? 

I was into anything entertainment when I moved to Buea, so I found myself on many movie sets. I lost my dad too at that time, so I was into anything that could help me make money. I learned how to be a sound engineer so that I could make money from recording sound in movies. I worked mostly on TV series like Rumble, La Reine Blanche, Habiba, Le prix du péché, and many others. I also worked on feature films like Man for the Weekend, Where I Come From, Vergin Blade, Aline, and many others.

Did you receive any training as a sound engineer, or is everything that you know self-taught? 

I trained myself, studied online and I have always learned mostly on my own anything that I want to know.

Can you tell us about your rise to fame? What have been your secrets to making a big name for yourself in the creative industries, especially in music?

I did not just become famous overnight. I worked for so many years to become who I am now. So it’s patience and consistency that took me to where I am today. That is my secret! I am a creative person and I have always wanted to put smiles on people’s faces.

Your latest single, ‘Be Proud’ (Remix), featuring a lot of great and outstanding musicians in Cameroon such as Vernyuy Tina, Kameni, and Mr. Leo, to name a few, has really broken the charts. What inspired you to write it? 

Life inspired me to write ‘Be Proud’, and everything I expressed in the song was from the heart. My goal was to bring people back to where they come from with some beautiful stories and make them feel at home, even when they are far from home. I wanted to make people feel proud of themselves, believe in themselves, and stand for their cultural background. Here in Cameroon, we have more than 250 tribes with different dialects, so our culture is so diversified, and I wanted to remind all Africans to hold on to their culture.

Be Proud Of Who You Are, Says Cameroon's Witty Minstrel Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Witty Minstrel

What makes you proud to be African? 

Just the fact that I’m African makes me proud already. My color, my people, the topography of my continent, our music, our food, our wealth, our strength, the spirits – everything on this continent makes me proud to be an African.

What can people look forward to from you in 2021, and how can they access your music?

I will be everywhere this 2021 with my music because I’m working on my album and I will release it this same year. I will not only give you music, but I’ll entertain you with beautiful music and movies too. People can subscribe to my Youtube channel, Wittyminstrel Piripboi Records, and also catch me on Instagram, @witty_minstrel, and on Facebook, Witty Minstrel Art. ‘Be Proud’ is available for streaming on all major platforms.

Interviewed by Gugu Mpofu

Music And The Arts





TAKEOFF DEAD AT 28 Asante Afrika Magazine


As we start a new month the world of hip-hop is mourning the passing of Takeoff, a third of the Atlanta rap trio Migos. The 28yr old was fatally shot in the early morning hours of November 1st after an altercation that escalated to shots being fired. Takeoff formerly known as Kirsnik Khari Ball had been playing dice at a bowling alley in Houston with his uncle and another third of Migos, Quavo. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Confirmation of the news was given by Drew Findling, the late star’s lawyer. TMZ Hip Hop obtained footage that showed the sad scene as Quavo and others tried to help Takeoff.

TAKEOFF DEAD AT 28 Asante Afrika Magazine
TMZ footage

According to police, there are two other victims of the shooting who were rushed to hospital. Their condition at the moment is unknown and Quavo was not injured.   

Migos came together as a group in 2008 and sealed their local fame within their local area in 2010. It did not take long for the trio to reach national and of course global notoriety. The group’s first major hit was, ‘Versace’, the lead single off their 2013 mixtape, YRN. Their first Billboard number 1 track came in 2016 and is titled ‘Bad and Boujee’. The track’s success catapulted them to global status. Takeoff has often been dubbed the group’s secret weapon, he was born on June 18th 1994. Ball’s love of music began in his teen years with his uncle, Quavo and cousin Offset the final third of the group.

TAKEOFF DEAD AT 28 Asante Afrika Magazine

“Growing up, I was trying to get into music. In my spare time, I’d record myself. Find a beat, pulling em up. Just making something and creating for me… I was getting my own pleasure out of it, because it’s what I liked doing.” Takeoff said in an interview with The Fader in 2017. The trio made an impact not only in music, they appeared on the hit TV show Atlanta and their performances left Atlanta creator and star Donald Glover raving about the group stating, “They’re The Beatles of this generation.”

2018 saw the release of their second album Culture II which was a Billboard number 1 like its predecessor. The same year saw the trio make solo projects; Takeoff’s ‘The Last Rocket’ debuted at number 4 and was his only solo released project. In a statement, the late rapper’s lawyer wrote, “Takeoff was not only a brilliant musical artist with unlimited talent but also a uniquely kind and gentle soul.”

Celebrities responded with messages on social media. – Lloyd Banks referred to Takeoff as a, “very dope artist gone too soon.” Boxer Chris Eubank J wrote, “I remember Takeoff being very down to earth, cool dude,” Ja Rule stated, “this sh*t has to STOP… sending love to friends and family.”

TAKEOFF DEAD AT 28 Asante Afrika Magazine

R.I.P Takeoff.

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Tanto Wavie | Founder of TrapSu, A Genre of Vibes and Reflection




Tanto Wavie | Founder of TrapSu, A Genre of Vibes and Reflection Asante Afrika Magazine

The Zimbabwean music landscape has evolved in a big way during the past years we have witnessed the creation of new genres and new sounds. From the country’s infancy right through its maturity, we have been blessed with genres such as Sungura, Museve, urban groves, Zim dancehall. These sounds have played a crucial role in defining the culture and Identity of the Zimbabwean people. Our feature artist has done a remarkable job of fusing the sound of old, and the new sound of the times. We introduce to you Tanto Wavie

Zimbabwe is a country known for its hardships, corruption, and bad press overall. Through the midst of all these negatives, Zimbabwean art still thrives. As much as it is not lucrative for the collective at large most artists still find a way to release and make music. This one artist is no exception, Tanto Wavie is making waves through his music, no pun intended.

I first heard of Tanto a couple of years ago through a random YouTube suggestion of his song John Chibadura. This song is a tribute to the late John Badura a famous Zimbabwean Sungura artist whose music defined the fabric of the times in the early 80s to 90s, a legendary figure etched in the Mount Rushmore of Zimbabwean music greats. The intense base guitar Sungura fused with hip hop and Trap beats in a genius and flawless composition made me an instant fan. This was the beginning of a beautiful sonic relationship between me and this muso.

All his records laced with the vibrant and high-energy producer tag at the beginning of each song “chi beat cha Tanto,” translation “Tanto’s beat”, you know you are in for a treat. Many have tried to fuse or sample Sungura or Museve, only to produce mediocre results, leaving much to be desired. On the other hand, Tanto has successfully found the secret formula to this magic, in his cauldron he cooks up a concoction of a new brand of Trap and Sungura, cleverly dubbed Trapsu. He creates timeless jams I believe are still yet to be discovered and pieces that will echo through the passage of time. 

With releases such as Sungura Museve a pure non-skip album that features stand-out tracks such as Mudhipisi, translation a “cop out” or “straight up fool always killing the vibe for everybody”. Tanto narrates a story of an individual who’s always messing everything up when people are trying to live their best lives and have a good time. In true Sungura fashion, the songs on the project are very descriptive and comedic at best but trust me! the man’s projects are no joke, he is one to be taken seriously.

Tanto Wavie | Founder of TrapSu, A Genre of Vibes and Reflection Asante Afrika Magazine

The album is also graced with Gems such as 007, Dzinga Munyama, Mabhachi ft Denim Woods with a killer verse, Heart Yangu a soulful Trap+Sungura+RNB just to name a few. After Sungura Museve he has dropped a number of projects and singles all bangers. The future is bright for Tanto and personally I can’t wait for the new drop this Friday “Wake Chaiye”.

In closing, I believe an artist like Tanto Wavie is the missing piece to the future of the Zimbabwean music scene. He not only embodies the heritage and legacy of a sound that carried and groomed a whole nation, but he also brings the energy of the present-day with artistic integrity and vigor. Tanto is one to most definitely watch out for. Zimbabwe, Africa are you ready???

Tanto Wavie | Founder of TrapSu, A Genre of Vibes and Reflection Asante Afrika Magazine

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Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!!

An interview with Moonchild Rye, founder of Moonchild District. An arts movement in Zimbabwe.




Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!! Asante Afrika Magazine


Creativity of the brain is low key blasphemy…

What do you do when the world doesn’t make it easy for you to do what you are best at? Give up and call it a day? A young poet from Zimbabwe turned to the avenue of innovation and created a space for himself and other creative like himself. For many creatives in Zimbabwe finding a space let alone an uncensored environment where one can express themselves and create is a challenge.

The African nation’s economic challenges have left the Arts sector in a bit of a bind as creatives are finding it hard to connect with their peers; find welcoming communities and realise financial gain from their artistry. Thus sadly many are leaving their art for more stable professions. But the resilience of poets like Moonchild Rye aka He of the Moon formerly known as Prince Rayanne Chidzvondo has led to the birth of a powerful alliance of creatives and a worthwhile business. 

Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!! Asante Afrika Magazine
Moonchild Rye

Zimbabwe is heavily talented, the only problem is, how can the art industry thrive in a state where no other industry is functioning. It’s not a shock when people won’t pay a $2 ticket to hear you perform, to a majority, it’s soft life, a luxury they cannot afford.

According to Moonchild Rye, “The system is also very conservative, you find that they’re still hiring Albert Nyathi years after his prime has long been established, do you not think we have other poets in Zim? Either way, Moonchild District will be the change to all this. We will make it hard for them to ignore us.”

Poetry is not my calling; I called it in order to find ways to heal myself.

Moonchild rye

Moonchild’s poetic journey (pun intended) began as early as grade 7. Despite imaginable discouragement from family Moonchild Rye remained optimistic. Moonchild Rye proudly states, “I speak the audacity of greatness into my bones; my ancestor’s whispered a talent into my marrow that sings in my head and heart, my hand dances when it writes. I am the voice of a generation and the generation of this voice.”

Moonchild Rye started off his fast-growing arts movement in May of 2021 with Moonchild District’s Night of May, which was a huge success followed by a slew of sold-out Moonchild District events. We caught up with the poet/media practitioner/digital marketer/content creator.

Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!! Asante Afrika Magazine
Moonchild Rye with guests at a Moonchild District event.

Can you take us through your journey to realizing poetry is your calling?

I started writing when I was 12yrs and performed for the first time for a crowd at a Highlands Primary School’s Academic Eve. Poetry is not my calling; I called it in order to find ways to heal myself. Writing is a process of healing, recollection and establishing a path back to myself. It is a lie if you ever hear someone say, “I write for people”. It’s only the adult in me who has chosen to become a full-blown storyteller but I speak my heart, my healing, and my purpose. I speak the revolution betrothed to my tongue way before I was born.

Do you have any particular cause or topic you enjoy tackling with your poetry or do you create as you are inspired?

I create as inspired, but I have generally gravitation toward issues of mental health and human rights. I’m also a bit of a love poet. Like I said, writing for me is healing. They are words, stories and poems that are razors under my tongue. The poems I resist dig deeper into my chest like a buried soul mate.

They grow blurry and distant until I can’t find the sharpness but I can still taste how it made me feel. The feeling of poetry inside me can be like a dull hunger, the distorted memory of a bite. I can’t explain my creative process, it’s like magic spread over time and I’ll be the closest thing to God. Creativity of the brain is low key blasphemy. We are all creators.

Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!! Asante Afrika Magazine
Call Me Refined on the Moonchild District stage.

What was your first impression of the Zim arts scene when you started?

My first thought was “There’s no one or anything like me, they need me and my mark is different.” This was in 2015 when I stumbled upon my first open mic scene.

Zimbabwe is heavily talented, the only problem is, how can the art industry thrive in a state where no other industry is functioning. It’s not a shock when people won’t pay a $2 ticket to hear you perform, to a majority, it’s soft life, a luxury they cannot afford.

I also saw the hunger of many artists and in my head, it was always my father reminding me I would not amount to anything, I believed it because the people I saw were hungry, with guitars on their backs and Shakespeare’s sonnets on their tongues. I saw an industry I didn’t want to be part of, but it’s the need to do things differently that persistently calls me to continue pursuing my dream and the dreams of others like me. I vowed to take business to the arts, a work in progress still.

Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!! Asante Afrika Magazine
Artists preparing to take the stage at a Moonchild District event.

Most of all, I found family. I found people who were willing to accept the difference I had been persecuted for. I found belonging. I found the oneness of my heart, mind, body and soul. I found that there were stars that stammered to lend us the words we lost in the darkness. I found I was a writer, a content creator, a creative, and a storyteller, I found myself closer to the things that gave me joy, I found a path and purpose. I found a light in the midst of darkness. 

You mentioned instances of censorship in Zim’s creative sector; care to tell us about the worst case you experienced? You don’t have to mention names.

Everyone is an active gatekeeper of your work because they are scared for you. They tell you what to say, or how to say it, they ask you to rephrase, to remove something completely, and not mention names. They remind you of so and so who went a similar way. When my mother hears me planning, she asks “Is this what you have really chosen?” not to say she doubts my career path, it’s the way she says it, the look in her eyes to say “are you safe?”

Artistes are not safe.

We are not safe from ourselves, we are not safe among ourselves.

We are not safe in the world.

No one is safe. Our minds are surely ours but our bodies? Our bodies have never belonged to any of us really; we suffer because of the bodies that house our gifts. We are the voice of a generation but the system will always find a way to silence us.

Your experience as a creative in Zimbabwe led you to create Moonchild District, what was the thought process behind its epiphany?

I was tired of gravelling for people to include me and see me. When people won’t give you a seat at the table, create your own fucking table, one day they’ll wash your feet and massage your guests. In other words, I am going for everything they said I’d never have or do. Moonchild District is the love child of rejection and determination, they know I’m unstoppable but people tried to make me feel small so I would reduce myself to fit their narratives.

Moonchild District is a movement of artists like me; we outcasts have to stick together.

Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!! Asante Afrika Magazine
Moonchild District audience enjoying the masquerade event.

So far what is your favourite Moonchild District event to date and why?

Every show is unique in its way; we are constantly trying to outdo the last event. The masquerade, however, had us host our biggest show with the biggest audience. So I think it’s worth noting that our audience grows bigger.

Which Moonchild District event proved to be hard to put together and how did you power through?

I hosted a show where 6 out of 10 performers didn’t turn up. I had to open the floor to the audience; fortunately, this is how we ended up hosting open mics. The audience loves the mic just as much as we do. Also, the financial aspect of every show we host always has me sleepless and anxiously biting my nails. We are an unfunded movement, and it’s not pretty.

Specifically, who is the Moonchild District movement open to and how can interested creatives join?

Moonchild district is a movement, I merely lead it. For one to join, they simply follow the movement and drive us where their heart seeks.

Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!! Asante Afrika Magazine
Ndanatsa gracing the Moonchild District stage

Where do you see your career as a poet and Moonchild District in the years to come, let’s say five years?

I say this on behalf of the whole group; we are trying to feed ourselves, grow ourselves, to just make it to the next day. 5 years is a long time, today is survival, and so is tomorrow. That’s what counts right now. There’s no blueprint to this life thing. I am a visionary who is still scared that I’ll die with my visions whilst everyone fights to stay alive well after I’m gone.

With Moonchild District’s business aspect, what do you consider yourself to be more of a poet or businessman?

We just want to earn money through our crafts like anyone else. Why shouldn’t the words that feed your soul pay my bills? Why do we represent our culture and creativity when it can’t even raise a morsel of sadza to the lips? We want money. We are also motivated by money. We also want to write, sing, and speak for money. We want to be taken seriously like everyone else.

Any thoughts on how to further improve Zimbabwe’s Arts space?

A lot still needs to be done. We still live in a world where it is not viable to be an artist. The economy quite sucks, it’s hard to create sustainable and consistent development. Artists need strong support and administrative structures to help them build and grow. They also need to come together to harness and create art collectively, whilst sharing resources, contacts and information.

Organizations in Zimbabwe would like you to believe they’re helping everyone by funding a favourite or regular, but the truth is a lot of artists are failing to sail off, even to begin. Resources, information and platforms are accessible to a few who use this for themselves whilst artists part of their movements or projects feed off ‘exposure’.

Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!! Asante Afrika Magazine
Thando on the Moonchild District stage.

Everyone by now knows Exposure will not pay bills or feed you.

The government would like us to believe they’re helping. There’s no platform for poets, for writers, they care about sports and Jah Prayzah, the rest of us are unseen, no matter how hard we try.

The Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation established a relief fund for artists in 2020, but it’s not a full substitute for lost earnings. And as you may suspect, this was clouded with corruption and nepotism, just like everything else in this country. If Moonchild district can conquer these problems in the next 5years, we can be the leading creative hub in the region:

  1. Lack of resources to create, manage and commercialise creative art in youth consequently hindering growth and sustainability for creative youth in Zimbabwe.
  2.  Lack of guidance socially, financially and mentorship towards harnessing their creative energy from a young age, there is a need to fight the archetype of the broke creative which is a stereotype that has made many lose before they began.
  3. Dependency on informal labour and gigs in a demanding economy, leaving most creatives to abandon the creative economy chain.
  4. Administrative structures are also lacking in most creative groups. Most creatives fail from trying to be everything, from the leader to the writing, the script, recruiting artists, paying them and booking venues, accounts, reviewing their own lawful agreements etc. There are also no structures to mobilize these diverse creatives into hybrid content creators.
  5. Failure to adapt to the emerging social and cultural changes in media and production, especially in the Covid 19 era.
  6. There is not enough mainstream representation of creative arts and artists to communicate value proposition, most creatives are swapping their creative talents for priorities that feed them. There is not enough integration between creative art and communities
  7. The lack of hybrid, quality, competitive content from creatives because of a lack of resources to collaborate with other creatives or assemble production requirements and surpass its value. This hinders the growth of the Zimbabwean creative economy as content remains incompetent no matter the invested talent under limited resources.
  8. There is no support for creative start-up businesses and innovations, the government does not guide or finance start-up businesses and creative entrepreneurship.  They lack micro-enterprises that represent them as external entities that would like to support the creative sector in more substantial ways.
  9. There are no cross-sector partnerships to play an integral role in the effective use of the arts and creative industries for maximum promotion and productivity of the creative youth. They’re only limited to what they know, platforms that do not pay for exposure and cannot build sustainable growth beyond the creative industry.
  10. Creative youth are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, there are fewer resources equipped to provide artists with mental health care and self-navigation, making drugs, unproductivity and suicide a commonality within creative communities. Art can be used for healing, as therapy both to the creative and their audience.
  11. The lack of spaces and platforms for artists to meet, socialize or work on their projects and gather resources. There are not enough spaces that allow their freedom of expression to build towards their highest potential, and surrounding environments are hostile and unaffordable for the average creative youth. There are no platforms for them to manifest their ideas and visions without in house gatekeeping. Artists need spaces and platforms that allow their wings to grow, that allows them to rise up to the task and excel in their fields.
  12. Creatives lack information that allows them to excel towards sustainable growth. Creatives who are empowered with business management and technical knowledge concerning their crafts are able to make wiser decisions concerning the direction of their art and how to build a successful enterprise from their work. They lack the skills needed to present themselves, build their individual brands and access the beneficial necessary information to drive them forward. 

Do you have any particular creatives you wish to work with and why?

Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!! Asante Afrika Magazine
Chengeto Brown

Ah yes! Chengeto Brown – she’s poetry walking. Hope Masike  – I stan a legendary queen and Dudu Manhenga. Also, anyone else there making strides, poetry really can be infused anywhere and with anything. Take us to fashion, and music, we will be there.

Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!! Asante Afrika Magazine
Hope Masike

Most think pursuing work in any form of the Arts is a waste of time, what do you have to say to that?

It probably is. I guess you have to allow me to fully find out, yeah?

According to Moonchild Rye, there are plenty of shows to look forward to from the movement. Look out for, A night in May scheduled for the 21st of  May 2022 (2nd edition) and Nyamavhuvhu scheduled for August 2022 (2nd edition). For more information on these and other wonderful events to look out for from Moonchild District connect with the district on social media: 

Moonchild District is in the Building and Propelling Young Artists Forward !!! Asante Afrika Magazine
Poster for upcoming Moonchild District event.

FACEBOOK – Ndi Rayanne or Moonchild District

Instagram     – ndi.rayanne or moonchild.district

Instagram     – ndi.rayanne or moonchild.district

Twitter        – @NdiRayanne

Connect with Hazel Q. Lifa:

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