DANCEHALL music star Winky D has turned down a US$35 000 offer to join United States-based cleric-cum-socialite Passion Java’s music stable.
Passion Java was apparently keen to lure Winky D after falling out with another dancehall artiste Enzo Ishall who quit his music stable in January to join Teemak Promotions on a three-year contract reportedly worth around US$100 000.
The controversial cleric, whose ego was deflated after Enzo Ishall walked out on him, confirmed dangling a one-year contract worth US$35 000 to Winky D in a leaked conversation which has gone viral on social media platforms.
“I have offered him $35 000 yekuti ndishande navo one year chete. Vaka-culculator vakaona kuti hazvibudi vakati haa no I can’t take the deal. Vakatowekaweka mari dzavanonga vachigadzira per year vakaona kuti haa hazvibudi. (After calculating his yearly earnings his team turned down my offer.)
During the leaked conversation, Passion Java spoke highly of Winky D, describing him as an exceptional artiste who values and respects his brand and position in the music industry.
“Haachazi munhu uya uya wekuti akungoitira zvinhu mari or kana kungoitira zita but munhu ane vision yaatori kutevedzera. He knows that he is a brand himself (Winky D has a vision; he is not just into music for money and fame),” said the music-loving church minister
According to Java, Winky D is one musician who has successfully transformed his brand and is now the darling of the corporate world.
“He realised that he became so popular but without money. He transformed his message to attract the mature audience. Now he is driving and has a house,” said Passion Java who is bankrolling the ‘Gara Mumba Iwe’ online concert which has featured a host of popular artistes who include sungura music giant Alick Macheso, Zimdancehall artiste Jah Signal and urban grooves star Roki.
Contacted for comment, Winky D’s manager Jonathan Banda confirmed the offer from Passion Java but was unwilling to give finer details pertaining to the proposal.
“Yes something like that was presented to us but we didn’t assent to it. This is not unusual because deals are negotiated everyday; some prevail but others don’t,” that was all Banda could say.
Passion Java’s interest in Winky D is not surprising. The Kambuzuma-bred musician, also known as Bigman, walked away with the People’s Choice Award for the second consecutive year in March at the 19th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama). His formidable brand has attracted the endorsement of corporates such as Population Services International (PSI), Delta Beverages which has regularly featured him in its events such as Beer Festivals, Castle Tankard and Campus Nights. He has also regularly featured in the popular OK Grand Challenge.