POPTAIN — the high-riding dancehall singer who rose to fame with his hit song “Fadza Mutengi” — has had a long, bumpy and winding road to stardom.
Born Ameen Abduljaleel Matanga in Gweru some 26 years ago, the hit-maker opened up on his touching life and not-so-rosy musical journey.
Poptain was born in a Muslim family and is the youngest of three children.
He defied the odds and found success where some people would have easily failed.
In fact, from the day he was born, the odds always seemed to be heavily staked against him.
Following the death of his parents when he was only a young boy, the singer and his two siblings — Charity and Akim — went to live with an uncle in Kwekwe in 2001.
Barely two years later, the uncle died, resulting in the siblings moving to Harare, where they were put under the care of an aunt. The move to Harare was to change Poptain’s life forever.
“When we moved to Harare, we were given the impression that we were going to boarding school. We were elated as we bid farewell to our friends and relatives,” he recounted.
However, to their unpleasant surprise, they were put in an orphanage.
“I was shocked and hurt. To me, this was deceit. During my early days at the orphanage, I would find a secret place where I would often go to cry my heart out.”
But it was to become a blessing in disguise.
“My interest in music grew when I was at the orphanage,” he said.
After completing Ordinary Level in 2011, the singer and his siblings went back to live with their aunt.
“My aunt, who is deeply religious, wanted me to be a Muslim teacher and despised secular music. I knew that my first love was music and I swore that nothing could stop me from achieving my goal,” added the young musician, who is now a proud father of one.
Poptain was subsequently introduced to a recording studio by Naddy Nice, a fellow Muslim with whom he had developed a close relationship.
“I owe Naddy Nice a lot. Every time I held the microphone, he would urge me to refine my talent. He is the one who gave me my stage name.”
Continuing to defy his aunt by relentlessly pursuing secular music came at a price — he was chased away from home.
But being homeless worked to the musician’s advantage.
“For months, I stayed in a studio, working on my music and using the same studio space as my bedroom at night. Staying at the studio gave me much time to perfect my music,” added Poptain.
A few weeks after moving to the studio, Poptain recorded his first project, a Hightime Riddim song titled “Please nobody”.
The song, which was followed by many others, was not well-received.
Despite the poor reception, the chanter went on to work on several other projects.
Just when his career was taking shape, his sister Charity passed on, adding yet another unfortunate and sad chapter in his life.
“I met, after a long time, my aunt and brother at Charity’s funeral. I had deliberately avoided them since I knew that they were against what I was doing. We, however, had a frank discussion and we made up.”
Interestingly, after the encounter, the young crooner’s breakthrough was to come in August when he did the “Fadza Mutengi” collaboration with Allanah.
The rest, like they say, is history.
The video for “Fadza Mutengi” has since exceeded 1,3 million views.
He is, however, yet to bag any awards.
With his singing career growing in leaps and bounds, Poptain has been to South Africa’s Sony Music Africa Studios, where he recorded his music.
He has done recordings at the New Gemini Major Studios, one of South Africa’s top recording studios.Apart from working with Allanah on “Fadza Mutengi”, he has done collaborations with Tocky Vibes and Nutty O, among other artistes.-Sunday Mail