Home » Arts & Culture » Bodyguards a Hit in Zimdancehall

Zimbabwe’s top musician Oliver Mtukudzi is on record saying he does not need a bodyguard and he usually travels alone for shows. A number of local musicians subscribe to Mtukudzi’s principle but others feel they need protection and hire bouncers to accompany them to shows.

Bodyguards are growing popular in Zimdancehall circles and scenes at most live performances are evidence that artistes are opting for the services of personal security these days.

The latest musician to acquire extra sets of g arms is rising musician Tocky Vibes whose bodyguards made their debut appearance at the Castle Tankard show at Borrowdale Race Course over the weekend.

At least four g men made part of Tocky Vibes’ entourage and accompanied him on stage.

But their role on the fateful night when the musician was bombarded with missiles was to clear the stage of beer cans that were thrown by disgruntled fans.

“They are not bodyguards, but a security team,” said manager Elvis Bokosha who hung up his mobile phone before giving further details.

Prosper “The Rock” Dembedza, a fitness fanatic who offers security services at high profile shows gave a broader perspective. Popular people and celebrities are not people like us and as such whenever they make an appearance, they are bound to attract attention. Bodyguards are important in controlling crowds, stalkers and making quick escapes,” he said.

“Vamwe vane zvimoto. That beef they have with rivals develop into sabotage and at times during fan stampedes a musician might have his phone or other valuables stolen. Besides this, just moving from one point to the other can be difficult if a person doesn’t have bodyguards.”

While local dancehall musicians are in the habit of surrounding themselves with minions masquerading as bodyguards, Dembedza said there was more to security than what meets the eye.

Soul Jah Love and Seh Calaz have been known to move around with security details with Lipsy beefing her own team at the height of her beef with nemesis Lady Squanda.

“The most appropriate bodyguards are people with self-defence training. Being heavily built and muscular is not enough, but what is important is skill. Some have martial arts training and can execute their roles well,” said Dembedza.

Seh Calaz’s manager Godfrey Bakasa echoed the same sentiments saying his boss’s bouncers are meant for crowd control during events.

“Note that people have the intention to attack him. But some die-hard fans can’t be controlled by him. So we need personnel who are able to deal with the crowd and control it. At the same time protecting him from being injured by the mob,” he said.

Broader surveys indicate that the practice is not limited to Zimbabwe.

It seems everyone who is anybody in Hollywood has security detail in their entourage too. These are handy in crowd control, flashing cameras, paparazzi and outrageous fans.

Bodyguards of the rich and famous celebrities are, however, known to have police and military background. Celebrity protection is actually big business internationally with celebrities paying heavily for bodyguards for 24-hour “protection”. Just a few months ago, Nigerian star Tiwa Savage hired Chris Brown’s former bodyguard when she was attending the Nigerian Entertainment Awards.

Source : The Herald