By Sylvester Munanjala in Lusaka, Zambia
Zambian hip-hop artiste Masautso Nkhoma 28, aka Ruff Kaida has defended his extraordinary stage stunt at the Lusaka Club Zed last Saturday May 24 2014 when he made a “deadly” entrance into his concert and popped out of a white coffin. Hundreds of fans who had turned out at the club for the launch of his new album “The Naked Truth” initially fled in fear but some remained and watched in consternation as four pall bearers brought Kaida on stage in a coffin. Some of the fans only returned to watch the launch when they realized he was up to one of his old tricks!
His stunt was sharply criticized both in social media and radio, TV and newspapers across the country for being primitive and unnecessary after they were published by some press organs in Zambia
In reply, Kaida posted an update on his face book page defending his stunt saying those who did not see the joke were “shallow”.
“I feel amazed at how many pipo (sic) can be shallow minded and go to the extend of saying things like illuminant… Everyday you watch movies with people in coffins, some even acting as Satanists, presidents, bishops, killers, sex workers… you don’t complain. You see ruff Kaida do a coffin stage stunt, you talk, shallow minds”.
Following earlier criticism of some of his stunts, Kaida posted on his facebook page: “Ignore nonsense, Focus on what matters, return with love, kill them with kindness then bury them with success”.
Kaida who sings mostly in local Nyanja and Bemba languages managed to pull a reasonable number of music fans though South African musician AKA was also performing in the Zambian capital on the same night. Despite his surprise coffin stunt, the album launch still attracted some of the biggest names in Zambian music including musician Slap Dee, the CEO and founder of XYZ.
Musicians MC Wabwino and Mr Mainza and a handful of other artistes were support acts on the night.
Ruff Kaida who has been singing for the fourteen years, arrived at the club in a white limousine wearing a gold jacket and black slacks and was then put in a coffin and carried on stage by four men, much to the surprise of the audience and onlookers who screamed with excitement after a brief moment of silence and extreme shock. A few people fled the scene in disbelief.
Still in defense of Kaida, Charisto Chitamfya Jnr, Journalist and Kaida’s manager, told Iroko Magazine in Lusaka that Ruff Kaida’s stunt was dreamed up to match with his entrance song titled “Nikamishiya”, a reference to the fact that Kaida was still strong and going as a musician.
The song talks about him (Kaida) dying and that when he dies, people shouldn’t act like they are sad when in actual sense they didn’t even appreciate him whilst he was alive…and this performance was the last performance and death of Ruff Kidd (rapper’s former name) That’s why he came out of the coffin to symbolize the birth of Ruff Kaida” Chitamiya added.
In an interview with The Lusaka Star Magazine last year, Kaida said he had killed Ruff Kidd, his artistic name and was adopting Ruff Kaida as his new name.
The “eccentric” artiste who is also popularly known as Kang’ono (small) by his fans, back then warned that “The Naked Truth” album launch will not be like any other. The coffin stunt was the trick he had been planning all along
The 14 track album includes the hit “I’m Alive” which features Rozay Msiska. “Umunandi” another song from the album is used as a launch pad to attack another well known Zambian musician for “stealing” one of his songs.
Critics of the coffin stunt included Lisa Nyambe 23, a music follower and fan from Choma town in Zambia’s Southern Province. She described the stunt as “off the hook and unimpressive”. She said that even though it was done in the name of creativity, Kaida shouldn’t be playing with death and making a mockery out of it by pretending to be a dead man in public.
Leah Mtonga 22, a university nursing student believes the stunt was an indication off Kaida’s initiation into the Illuminati, a cult believed to be made up of devil worshipers.
“He is copying western musicians but he is doing it the wrong way because those people only use symbolic gestures and sing about it, and not public stunts as he did, it’s not right” she said
Mildred Kawaye, a music listener from Zambia’s tourist capital Livingstone, said the stunt showed Kaida was still the bad boy of Zambian music and had not changed as he was claiming.
Not everyone was critical of the stunt though. Musician Petersen Zagaze 36, supported Kaida. “A Zambian who thinks anything done or made in Zambia is not cool unless it’s from foreign lands is just dull, behind and uncivilized”, Petersen posted on his facebook page.
“Wake up and smell the coffee! Viva Ruff Kaida, one of Zambia’s best performers” he said
Ruff Kaida is the only Zambian musician who has won a Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Art (BEFTA) award. He beat Nigerian singer D’Banj tin the Best International Act category in 2012. He is well known for pulling off stunts on and off the stage. Last year, he attracted controversy when he appeared half naked on the cover of his “The Naked Truth” Album.
Am Alive. Ruff Kaida