By TROY MUKUPA
FOR greater-fan-appeal, Zambian musicians frequently record songs in Bemba, Nyanja, or even English; however, for fast-rising prolific songwriter, musician and Chamwa Entertainment, signed rapper, Skilijay, has opted to record his music in Tumbuka, the language of his mother.
Born Dickson Musonda Jr, and is the only child, as both his parents died when he was a young boy, Skilijay Tumbuka, uses the Citumbuka language of Zambia and part of Malawi to spread the gospel through music.
He made his debut in 2018 with the song “Dada Wane,” which means “My father” and features the legendary, Cathy Zulu, as the lead vocalist. The song was well-received on streaming platforms and local radio stations. He later recorded several hit songs, including “Dankha,” “Vichitikenge,” “Ninga Zizwa,” “Indaba,” and “Ululimi,” to name a few.
He recently released a new single tagged “Ichi Chikondi” and immediately attracted heavy support. He has previously worked with notable gospel artistes such as the renowned, Antonio Mwanamuke – Yellow Dove, the gifted Ms. Regina Mwanza, Cathy Zulu, and MC Mule.
Asked how easily he is able to do rap in Tumbuka, he responded, “I was raised by my uncle on my mother’s side and spent the majority of my time with my grandparents (Ba Gogo). She is the one who made me learn Tumbuka language and culture”
The energetic gospel rapper is currently working on the soon to be released project tagged “Chiuta Pa Zose” under Chamwa Entertainment, one of Zambia’s fastest-growing and most-sought record labels.