Any takers for #BrandFredokiss?

Good people, it is not clear what Fredokiss is up to but he is sending a strong message to whom it may concern.

Whatever it is, the youthful rapper is getting crowds that many musicians can only envy and he keeps rising.

His ghetto gigs personify an artist to be taken seriously because thousands of youthful Malawians treasure him.

Not many  can lure a tenth of the crowd the Ghetto King Kong got in Ndirande in Blantyre and Masintha in Lilongwe recently.

Ndix, a town that does not doze off, is a cruel barometer for all who care about fame and dime.  Legend has it that a political party which conquers the populous town in Blantyre wins any election.

There Fredo went, sang for free and got the turnout even politicians covet. Politicians–not artists whose songs are only replayed by radio DJs they love to bribe–politicians whose lorries will go any distance to carry people to balloon the count attending their rallies.

Fredo is proudly a son of outspoken politician Kamlepo Kalua and murmurs  are gaining sway that covets politics. It is his right.

But this is no reason the star, born Penjani Kalua, attracts astonishing crowds.

There is something about him that he cannot be taken for granted even when he takes his free gig to open-air venues which separate pretenders from crowd-pullers.

Fredo passed the litmus test and his parentage was not involved.

Here is a self-made star working extremely hard to become a brand that any company targeting the youth should be sounding out for greater reach.

He commands massive respect among young Malawians, the majority of the population.

Millennials and those a little older look up to him as a role model. When he sings, they listen. Everywhere he holds a show,  they come out.

He embodies their unique aspirations as did Gwamba when United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) named him the celebrity face of their campaign to safeguard the youth from child marriages, teen pregnancies and risky sexual encounters likely to wreck their futures.

Fredo appears to speak to a generation that believes in his gift of words and public image.

What a turnaround!

Around 2010, the  University of Malawi graduate was no more than an experimental rapper playing outspoken rapper Jolly Bro’s accomplice in churning out songs slighting Tay Grin.

Fredokiss and JB surely made some  friends and foes by beefing the Nyau who is steadily networking with big-name artists on the continent, pushing his music beyond the borders and endearing himself with critics who thought he was a vulture riding on the back of poor, gifted artists.

But Fredokiss has shed all that beef.

He knows his audience and whatever he sings and performs is largely aimed to appeal to the critical segment–the youth who give him likes in the social media, wows during gigs and thumbs up on the street.

Of course, he is no Beatle or Bob Marley who were welcomed by ecstatic crowds globally.

But he is doing his part and getting astounding feedback from his fans.

Close your eyes and figure out what the Ghetto King Kong’s crowds of his mean to the world where numbers matter more than sensibilities.

It is just a matter of time before some organisation names him its brand ambassador.

But crowd-pullers are no monkeys hungry for peanuts. Their name and following are their money.

The audience Fredo brings with him does not look like a giveaway.

Even political parties, which miserably slumped in Tuesday by-elections, must be gazing at photos of Fredokiss’ crowd-pulling performances wishing they had the allure to coax just a hundredth of it.

Thumbs up,  Fredo. n


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