MANY would not begrudge Gordon Mutekedza, also known as Flash Gordon the Native, for feeling content with the achievements he has made so far in his life.Â
At 25, he has already won the 2005 ZimaÂ Producer of the Year award and established Native House Records, which has made him a prominent name on the Zimbabwean entertainment scene.
Among the artists he has worked with are Andy Brown, Oliver Mtukudzi, Chiwoniso Maraire, Albert Nyathi, Rocqui, Otis Ngwabi, Tererai Mugwadi, Sebede, Mafriq, Xtra Large, Alexio, Ras Jabu, Tambaoga and Dumi Ngulube.
He has also worked with international and regional artists from Wales, South Africa, Malawi and Botswana. Over the course of his career he claims to have recorded and produced over 500 songs so far.
Crediting his success to the mentorship of Delani Makhalima and the late music producer extraordinaire, Fortune Muparutsa, Gordon expressed his gratitude for the exposure and opportunities that he got through their efforts.
He concedes that whilst fame can be easily attained in the local entertainment industry, fortune is a lot more elusive for the majority of artists. Quoting renowned American music producer Quincy Jones who said that there is a difference between music and music business, Flash expressed the sad predicament of most local artists.
â€œWhilst a lot of artists in Zimbabwe are talented, most are not knowledgeable about the dynamics of the industry and are therefore taken advantage of many times,â€ Gordon said.
For Gordon, the only way artistes can develop and empower themselves fully is to take a business approach to their work. â€œThey also need to acquire knowledge of the technical side of things and also how to read and interpret contracts.â€
He is currently pursuing a social science major in Communication and Media at the Pontificia UniversitÃ Gregoriana in Italy. â€œUpon completion (of the studies) I hope to entwine music fully with other media. I am also studying film production and broadcasting; my dream is to open a television and radio station which evolve around music.â€
Flash has also recently compiled a tribute album to his mentor Muparutsa which is available on www.zimvibes.com
BY NGONI MUZOFA