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Some of the most popular Zimdancehall Artists from left to right Trevor Dongo, Shinsoman, Seh Calaz, Nox Guni, Freeman, Soul Jah Love and Guspy Warrior on international tour

Zimdancehall, is a Zimbabwean music genre with roots in the Jamaican tradition of reggae. The genre is known for its hard-hitting lyrics which often encompass social commentary on issues like poverty, unemployment and drug abuse.


The genre now called Zimdancehall can be traced to Reggae music popular in the Jamaican music circles. Bob Marley and fellow Jamaican artistes became the foundation of Zimdancehall with its style borrowing a lot from Jamaican reggae and ragga genres.

The Development of Zimdancehall

The genesis of Zimdancehall was not until the late 1990s with the emergence of pioneering artists such as Major E, Booker T and Potato. Most of the pioneer artistes gained very little following. Exceptional cases include Major E and Malvin Sithole who made waves with various collaborations with Innocent Utsiwegota with hits such as "In My Dreams".[1] At this point the genre was still in its infancy. Winky D, King Labash, Badman represented a new crop of artistes who took the genre to a new level with hits like "kukonzeresa" by King Labash and "chaputika" by Winky D. It was at this stage that most people began to notice these artistes and they also developed a considerably large following. With the rise of other artistes like Killer T, Soul Jah Love, Freeman, Shinsoman, Zimdancehall became a force to reckon with in the Zimbabwean music circles with the majority of its artistes like the aforementioned becoming household names.[2] Several songs like "mawaya waya" by Shinso, "tirikumhanya" by Killer T, "musarova bigman" by Winky D became instant sing alongs and established the Zimdancehall genre among other local genres like Sungura. The artistes even rose to international prominence with the likes of Lady Squanda, Freeman among others holding shows in countries like the United Kingdom and Australia.

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Answer to unemployment

Considering the high levels of unemployment, this music genre is said to offer a chance of generating income to the urban youth who often fall victim to social ills like drug abuse, prostitution and violent crime. Not only does it offer an outlet for the artistes themselves but to the many backyard studio owners whose enterprises have sprouted in and around many ghettos in Zimbabwe and are estimated to be numbering about 600 in total.[1] Notwithstanding the financial returns that are realised by the stakeholders in the industry, Zimdancehall has also been credited for raising awareness on everyday issues that affect society like the maladministration of local government. The song by Spiderman castigates the city council for causing water borne diseases while another one by Jiggaz laments the economic hardships in the country by stating that money is never enough for the ordinary man.[3]

Zimdancehall music downloads

Zimdancehall music artists are known to be very generous making their music available for download on the internet through such platforms as Reverbnation, Jukebox (Jukeboxx), Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp in various formats but mostly in .mp3. Their business model is based on them freely distributing their music, while they make money from hosting gigs/shows/sconcerts.

Places to Download Zimdancehall Music


There has been a considerable amount of criticism that has been levelled against Zimdancehall. Much of the critics of the genre have spoken against the violence which often tarnished the reputation of the artists and the genre alike.[4] There have also been calls by senior citizens that some of the lyrical content in the songs tends to praise drug abuse, praise of violence among other immoral activities. Prominent music promoters such as Josh Hozheri have even gone as far as saying that the genre was a temporary wave which would eventually die out just like what happened to Urban Grooves.[4]

Popular Zimdancehall artists

Popular Riddim Producers

You Wanna Know More About Zimdancehall Artists? Click on Any below to view their Detailed Profiles


Notwithstanding all the positive aspects of Zimdancehall, there have been many instances in which the artistes hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons. The wrong reasons span from lyrical content which glorifies drug abuse, violence and sexual immorality. Inevitably this has an impact on the impressionable minds of the urban youth who form the bulk of the Zimdancehall audience. This follows other arguments which note that Zimdancehall is a culture that impacts on dressing and body language which stimulates the audience to do as the artistes do in their videos. This includes videos like "ndinongosimudza musoro" released by Soul Jah Love which has both sexually explicit lyrics and video content. The inaugural Zimdancehall Awardsin 2014 were marred by violent and rowdy behavior from artists and fans alike.[5]

Some Zimdancehall Popular Videos

Soul Jah Luv, Ndinovatenda
Freeman, Anondibata Ruoko
Winky D- Vashakabvu
Yoz and Shinsoman Tasangana Zvidhakwa
Mumota Murikubvira by Seh Calaz
Killer T - Hameno Ikoko
rollerg handimboterera (2015)

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Templeman, Zimdancehall Overdrive: The journey The Sunday Mail, Published: June 22, 2014, Retrieved: June 26, 2014
  2. ,Problem Masau, ‘Dancehall is the future of Zim music’ The Herald, Published: October 31, 2013, Retrieved June 26, 2014
  3. Ruzvidzo Mandizha, Dancehall obscenity divides opinion, The Zimbabwean, Published: January 1, 2014, Retrieved: June 26, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 Problem Masau Is Zimdancehall losing lustre?, News Day, Published: April 9, 2015, Retrieved: May 27, 2015
  5. , Violence erupts as Winky D bags four DanceHall awards iHarare, Published: March 17, 2014, Retrieved: June 26, 2014