Hip Hop Artist Tongai Leslie Makawa born September 22, 1983, in Southern African nation of Zimbabwe Capital of Harare. He grew up with two working parents who are now retired, his mother was a bank teller and father was ministry of education then became the director general for the Zimbabwe Association of pension funds which he had retired from. Both his mother and father are farming full time. He is the last of four siblings, one sister and two brothers who all use to rap. He started writing in fifth and six grade and from that day on he continued to write.
Tongai is also known by his performance name Outspoken, one of Zimbabwe leading spoken word poets and activist who became a part of the house of hunger poetry slam. He is a hip hop and spoken word artist and also the co founder of Magamba network that is an organization that promotes events, artist, word fusion activities and the expression on the urban cultural scene in the country. Outspoken works as a solo artist or with his band the essence, who plays the drums, bass, guitar, violin and brass. They have been working together since his upcoming. His work has reached different parts of the African continent and U.S. Zimbabwe, to South Africa, to U.S.A, Kenya, Senegal, Germany, Belgium and many more. Outspoken and the essence released their double debut album uncode and overrated and God before anything released in 2012. He is a hip hop mentor for power in the voice a British council program, which seeks to better the performance art by targeting talented youth and mentoring them in their various disciplines. He is alpha intellect some may call him.
Tongai music and poems are politically motivated and inspired by the educational system, when he started to his education he had many question to why they want him to know what they want him to know that he don’t want to learn, what’s going on, being a part of the system but why can’t the system attend to his needs. He felt there were a lot of questions that needed to be answered his music and poetry are more like questions to individuals. His song slave master’s whip draws attention to where our people came from and the institutional racists system that has people stuck. How we are from a place of political outcomes, but we have to keep it moving even with the slave masters whip on the back of the people. I’m going to quote a view of outspoken lines that it may broaden your horizon. “I do not work a 9/5 white collar. Black scholar poetry is my occupation. Labeled an enlightened nigga, my mind as the trigger with words as the bullets”. This piece basically is saying that you don’t have to work a job to be a black scholar; you don’t have to use a gun for it to be the bullets of retaliation just allow your words to be the bullets, because as many say words can kill too right. Outspoken music is the depiction to how out people move from slavery to being colonized to a state of freedom that hasn’t been fully achieved. As many may know how slavery was for blacks. Africans, African Americans and even though the people are free we are not really free because they still manage to have prison that are basically enslaved people changes, shackles if you catch my drift. With Artist like Outspoken also a poet brings a different taste to hip hop his style, versatility, lyrics and passion. He touches me in a very soulful type of way and that’s what the community needs all over. Instead of rappers talking about bitches and hoes he calls the women beautiful way that I like. Please check him out.