Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
He thought he was on the cusp of a breakthrough in his career after being signed under the late Cal Vin’s record label, Kontrol Tribe in Bulawayo at the age of 18.
Nkosinhle Mthabisi Mhlanga known by his stage name Reedz, was so passionate about music that he was willing to sacrifice anything in his life to be like his mentor and inspiration, Cal Vin.
It was a time that he had failed his O-level exams at Sizane High School in Bulawayo’s Pelandaba suburb and joined the music industry in 2016.
“I’d been doing music since I was young as I’d sing in church but somewhere around 2015, when I was doing my Form Four at Sizane High, I became interested in hip-hop music. The love I had for hip-hop led me to form a hip-hop movement with my old friends from church — Tholumusa and Ayanda. The group was called Turn Up Gang,” said Reedz.
He said it was this group that featured Cal Vin in a song titled Sim’jojo and it received relatively good airplay on local radio stations. It was also at this point that Cal Vin signed Reedz.
“After recording Sim’jojo, Cal Vin was impressed with my flow and the energy I was putting on marketing the song. That led him to recruiting me in his crew, Kontrol Tribe,” Reedz said.
After being signed, things started looking up for Reedz as he got slots to perform at various gigs including the Bulawayo Music Carnival that was held at Hartsfield Tshisanyama.
He described Cal Vin as an inspiration to him and his group adding that he learnt a lot of things through working with him. However, he said there was a downside with being under Kontrol Tribe.
“In 2017, I realised that it was not a wise thing to be signed under another artiste due to the conflict of interest. That’s why I left Kontrol Tribe to pursue my solo career,” said Reedz.
As he was pursuing his solo career, he was invited for an interview at Skyz Metro FM with Babongile Sikhonjwa which he said changed his life forever.
“On May 2 in 2017, I got to interact with the Skyz Metro FM station manager when I was there for an interview with Babongile Sikhonjwa. The manager advised me to go back to school since I had dropped out and was still young as I was only 18.”
Without hesitation, Reedz said he took heed and started fixing his life. He dropped music altogether and became a gospel minister.
“Those words really touched me and I started supplementing my O-levels. Due to pressure of trying to supplement all subjects, I decided to take a break on music and focus on school,” said Reedz.
“During that time, I got appointed as a chaplain of another institution I was learning at and little did I know that this was preparing me for a calling to be a gospel minister. I left music and became an evangelist in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.”
After attaining his O-level subjects, he then enrolled at United College of Education and he is now in his second year.
Now at the age of 22, Reedz has ventured into entrepreneurship and his decision is paying off as he has opened clothing shops in Cowdray Park and Nkulumane suburbs.
“I realised that money is more important than fame and ventured into entrepreneurship. I’m a distributor at Superlife and I opened a Reedz Boutique Supermarket in Cowdray Park where I sell second-hand clothing (amabhele).
“My business is growing and I now have another branch in Nkulumane. I also go to cities and towns where there are mines to sell my stuff,” said Reedz.
He said he was sharing his story to show youths that they should not give up in life.