NEWS | MUSIC
By Lawrence Nachipo.
When looked at from a far, he appears to be a gangster. Almost all his body is covered in ink. In a society like Malawi, that still has misconception about people covered in tatts, rapper, Toast appears to be that child your parents warn you to keep distance from.
That is not all, most of his music videos are full of gangsta life. Life of the ghetto. Liquor, delinquency…you name it! Looking at the Gold Chain hit maker, you would indeed conclude that Toast is a dude from the street; a no nonsense youngster. A spoiled child.
The character, Toast the rapper, may be what every Adam and Eve would perceive him to be, but meeting Gomezgani Kwambiri (outside music), one would easily get confused. Gomezgani, the mask behind Toast (in music circles) is a down-to-earth young man.
He lives a positive life. You think this is an overstatement? Hold on!
Take a Facebook post Toast had displayed on his official Facebook page (in April this year) for example. Through the post, he was championing for youths to stay away from drug and substance abuse.
As expected, the post met heavy scepticism from his followers. Plenty of negative sentiments from the followers, as typical of Malawians, they were judging him basing on his outward appearances. And Toast responded.
“Whenever I’m doing music, I live a TV life. And to be real to my fans, I’ve been sober for almost 5 years and as a concerned youth who has a voice in the society I took it as an opportunity to encourage my fellow youths not to take drugs,” he clarified.
Understandably, minus his ink, Toast’s song, Ghetto Hennessey (Midoli Gang), a song released last year which paid homage to the-then popular but cheaper spirits, Midoli, confused many a listener. Majority of Malawians felt he was glorifying the said liquor. The song was released at a time various sectors of the society were calling for the ban of sachet liquors for the mayhem they were unleashing to the youngsters.
Toast however explained the hidden message behind the song, and its accompanying music video.
“The video displayed the way how most youths lived in a society thus talking of ghetto areas, but at the end of the video there was a quote which was to guide many youths to work hard”. Toast explained.
Come 2018, positive music appears to continue reigning supreme in Toast’s music. Earlier this year, he released a hit ‘Akufuna Banja’ which he featured Charisma. Unlike other previous songs, there was a wider reception from all corners of Malawi as the message was clear cut positivity-filled.
And just recently, he has released another banger, ‘Hakuna Matata’; a duet with up and coming dancehall artist, Eli of Njuchi Music.
And the reception of the song has added smiles onto this semi-dreadlocked artist.
“I’m so happy how the people have responded to my song, I did the song looking at how people live in a society”. Toast said.
Briefly, Hakuna Matata is a Swahili phrase meaning “Living a stress free life” and that is also the message the song is preaching.
So, as the year is clocking half way, Toast promises more of positive music from now onwards.
“There’s more positivity from this side this year, so, in the meantime, just be on the lookout for the video of Hakuna Matata shortly,” he promises.