Menelik Nesta Gibbson known as Don Dada is on a countrywide tour promoting his latest project titled Heart and Mind which features the multi award-winning poet Jessica Mbangeni.
The humble, softly spoken 35-year-old reggae artist says his latest project is a double disc which contains reggae and hip hop songs which he expects to release in July.
Through the album, he wanted to bring back the sense of African pride, knowledge and the spirit of Ubuntu which he strongly feels had been stripped away from our people for decades and decades.
Asked about the combination of reggae and hip hop music, he explained when he started singing at the tender age of 13 years he was into hip hop music.
However, he soon he realised that he was destined to sing reggae music.
But he also wanted to cater for those who had followed his journey while he was still singing hip hop and took a bold decision to infuse the two genres.
But the other key element he wanted to show people that he was a versatile as an artist and he should not be boxed into one genre.
He believes that artists were more like journalists as they use their craft creatively to channel their emotions and report what is going on world wide through music.
He also believes that artists have aresponsibility to use their craft to preach a message of change and positivity because they had been afforded a platform to address the nation.
“I write music that has a message of hope and encouragement. I want to make a difference through music and not every one has been afforded the same opportunity which God has given me,” he said.
“I will rather have songs that talk about positivity and which address social ills than have a hit song that glorifies alcohol.
“I must use the time given on this planet wisely and through my music I must be able to make a change and it does not matter how big or small but I must contribute positively,” he said.
As part of uplifting his community, he says, he annually hosts a concert for underprivileged youth in his community where the winner stands a chance of winning R50 000 and an opportunity to record their first single.
He is also radio DJ and owns a recording studio with his father.
Recalling how he got into reggae music, he says, the only music which was played at his home was reggae and his mother met Bob Marley in 1980 in Zimbabwe where they had deep conversation about African history.
He says Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley insisted that should his mother give birth to a boy child, she should give him his name.