Kontawa: Bongo Flava’s new champion in the making

What you need to know:

  • The Bongo rapper hits the jackpot in painting a picture of a street hustler’s life through his song

Music has a way of communicating and bringing people to a common ground. This is evident with Abdu Hamid Said’s song ‘Champion’ released about a month ago, making it to the list of songs that truly hit home.

There is one line that says ‘Nshazika wanangu nilowapenda’ Swahili for I’ve buried a couple of my loved ones. The line has several comments from music fans in different social media platforms, most fans mentioning their lost friends and loved ones.

Going by the stage name, Kontawa, the upcoming hip-hop artiste and songwriter officially ushered into the Bongoflava music industry in 2019 with his music song ‘Sura Ya Baba’.

“Before writing the song ‘Champion’ I was just coming back from a show in Iringa and being all new to the industry I didn’t think people knew me. Turns out I had many fans and most people loved my songs,” shares Kontawa

Adding that, that gave him so much hope and, “I said to myself that I am a champion, it doesn’t matter how many steps I took, or how long I have been in the industry. That was also the message I wanted to send to my fans, we are champions!” he says

Before being known as Kontawa, he went by the name A.B.A short form for Amazing Boy from Africa but fans and broadcasters couldn’t pronounce his name properly and there was another music artiste and producer with a similar name to his.

“I had to find a new stage name and I picked Kontawa because people from my street used to call me that referring to how I would behave around my peers. I officially introduced the name Kontawa after releasing ‘Sura Ya Baba’ visuals,” explains Kontawa.

Born in a family of five children, Kontawa couldn’t continue with his ordinary level education because of the financial situation in his family.

“I started street hustle, selling second hand clothes in Kariakoo,” he explains.

To earn a living he had to work as a hawker, apart from selling second-hand clothes, he also worked with different companies where he would sell and do deliveries of their products to customers.

Growing up, Kontawa recalls that one of his biggest dreams was to become a construction engineer.

Two years after finishing secondary school and participating at different rap competitions, Kontawa discovered that he has a talent for singing and decided to pursue that passion further.

With no background or dreams in the past, he turned to music and chose it as his next career.

“After staying home for a year, it made me rethink things, career wise. I remember doing a rap- battle with a friend of mine who I knew was better at it but I won. That somehow made me feel that I could do more with rap,” he explains.

He later started to participate in different rap and singing competitions and concerts as a dare to a friend which nurtured his passion even more for a talent he never thought he had.

Kontawa gained prominence after releasing his first song, ‘Sura ya Baba’.

In a short while he had released a number of songs including ‘Moyo’, ‘Mke’, ‘Bastola’, and ‘Daktari’.

Speaking about his current hit single, ‘Champion’ with its virtual trending second on the global video platform, YouTube,trend for music. Kontawa narrates that the fruit came after he visited Iringa for the first time.

Kontawa says that the love he received from fans made him write ‘Champion’.

“I was so emotional when I wrote Champion. Love and positive vibes from fans made me feel different, different from where I used to be,” he says.

He further added that he didn’t want to collaborate with anyone but when Nay Wa Mitego heard the song, it hit him differently and made him jump on the song with his life story.

The same goes for the remix version, featuring Harmonize.

Just like ‘Champion’ Kontawa shares that he channels inspiration for his songs from different people, movies and home stories.

“Sometimes when I want to write a song, I normally watch Lionel Messi video clips or Ronaldo. Following their achievements, ups and downs to where they are now and it would inspire me more,” he narrates.

Kontawa says he is ending the year with ‘Champion’ but has a surprise for fans on December 24, a day before Christmas.

But next year will be a back-to-back year for the rising Bongo Flava champion.