Proverb Nester I: The unsung Reggae great

Born Clive Jonga some 26 years ago, Proverb Nester I is a great Reggae artiste who- like a great prophet- has earned nuff respect- not from his own people-but from lands afar-receiving rave reviews from international Reggae Magazines- who compared him with some of the world’s renowned reggae musicians.

Our Editor, Chris Mahove (CM) caught up with the promising Dzivarasekwa based musician (PN) to find out about his reggae journey. Below are excerpts:

CM. Who is Proverb Nesta I

Proverb Nesta I is a roots reggae lover, a lover of the human race regardless of color or geographical location. An artist who believes in the expression of the inner man, uniting of nations and the spreading of love through singing, dancing, acting, writing, meditation, reasoning etcetera. A strong believer in God: the God that loves us all in our different religious affiliations. And a big football fan!

PN when and how did you start your music career?

Well, my first recording was in 2014 when I was studying for a certificate in Performing arts in Bulawayo. Prior to that is a series of artistic moments, activities, dots which I now connect which contribute greatly in the making of the artist I am today. From singing in church since childhood to singing in front of the class in grade three, to joining the choir and taking to the stage acting in grade 6. The motive for doing this back then was simply fun and love/passion, well these still remain, but looking at it now all I see is a narrative that had already been wrote and I was simply setting I n I feet in the words. And I still am.

CM. Who and what is your inspiration

I get a lot of inspiration from people around me. I have had a lot of privilege growing up around artists and people who believed, even against a multitude that said it was impossible to make a living through the arts. Artists from Dzikwa Trust where I owe all this life to. I am inspired by the things I see, hear and that inner voice that seems to find satisfaction whenever I speak of the things I wouldn’t dare to say if I were voiceless.

PN. Musicians your age are more into Zimdancehall and it appears to have a larger following…why did you choose Reggae

I believe that reggae chose me and for that I am forever grateful. In the tree that is Reggae Music I view Zimdancehall as a small shooting that has made its roots and will thrive to make its own fruits but will always be in the shadow of the big tree. I am satisfied in I n I work in serving the big tree, as a vessel, as a messenger serving love, consciousness and wisdoms through word, sound and power.

CM. You play some good mature music-but it would appear it is not so popular among Zimbabweans…yet you have received rave reviews abroad where you have been compared to some of the greatest Reggae artists in the world…why and how is it so?

PN. Well fortunate enough I do not have to choose who listens and who don’t listen to the music. I make the music for all music lovers. The beauty of Reggae is that it knows its place and it finds its people wherever they are.

CM. Who records your music?

I have been working from studio to studio for a while now, most notably #tag studios and others. However my first album released last year was done at Enlisted Media and a few tracks at Zunde where I am currently working on my new projects.

CM. Do you have a band and do you hold live gigs

PN. I work with the Rock Solid Band which I formed back in 2016 and yes we do live gigs.

CM. Do you think you are getting fair airplay on local stations if ever you are getting it.

I do not know. Our local stations do not publish their playlists, or have ways of formally notifying us when they play our music. So unless you bump into your song or someone tells you that they heard you on radio there’s no way to know.

CM. How many albums have you recorded so far…and what is the thrust of your music

PN. I have only done one album which was released in August 2021. The mission is to spread love, peace and unity.

CM. Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

Phew five years?? Hahaha. Someone once told me that “art/music has to destroy, build and then work for you”. I think I’m done being destroyed now, I can only hope that in the next five the architect/builder will be done with his building.

CM. Your parting shot to Reggae lovers.

PN.ONE LOVE!!

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