Bruce Ndlovu/Bongani Ndlovu
When Desmond Chideme, the rapper popularly known as Stunner, one day sits down to put pen to paper and give Zimbabweans his autobiography, it will no doubt make for an interesting read.
Few of the country’s musicians have lived a more colourful life than the rapper who seems to flourish in controversy as a pig would in dirt and murk.
Last week, Zimbabweans were treated to another leaf from the Book of Stunner, as out of nowhere his private life, not for the first time, tumbled from his bedroom into the phones, computer screens and other gadgets that consume the lives of Zimbabweans these days.
On Thursday evening Zimbabweans and the rest of the world watched with a mix of horror, shock and disbelief as Stunner’s wife Olinda chronicled through a live video on her Facebook timeline how the Dhaf khorera rapper allegedlu leached her dry only to return the favour by cheating on her with younger women.
Word by teary word Olinda tore down the glitzy image of the rapper as Zimbabweans know it, chronicling how she had basically sponsored all the trinkets and possessions that made Stunner the glamorous rapper Zimbabweans love to hate.
According to her, all these efforts seem to have gone down the drain as she claims Stunner allegedly used all that glitter to lure young women who also fell hook, line and sinker for his charms.
With a palm full of pills, Olinda threatened to deliver the ultimate coup d’état to her heart breaking act, suggesting that suicide was a better option than life lived under the thumb of the promiscuous wordsmith.
Olinda’s ordeal felt like a script plucked from a Shakespearean tragedy, only instead of a theatre stage, it played out on thousands of Zimbabweans timelines and while it was Olinda’s video, the real star of the show, Stunner, was not even present for curtain call.
The video showed that while ordinary people and journalists might wish to be the proverbial fly on the wall in the houses of celebrities, social media is giving people an unfiltered view into these homes, as through their impulsiveness, public figures become willing accomplices in the invasion of their jealously guarded privacy.
The video was also an example of the life led by Stunner, an artiste for who a few months without controversy would be asking too much.
The video came only a few months after Stunner had been in trouble with the authorities, having been convicted for driving without a licence.
Although this was his first conviction, according to Showbiz website Zimbo Jam this was not the first time that the unlicenced rapper had been involved in an accident.
This was allegedly his third publicly recorded traffic accident in under six years. In May 2010 Stunner rammed into a commuter omnibus just after the Rusape tollgate on his way from a performance in Nyanga. Apparently the driver of the commuter omnibus, who was badly injured in the crash, was making a U-turn on the highway when Stunner rammed into him. The rapper was in the company of fellow artistes Shastro, Junior Brown, Mc Chita and DJ Nature. In December 2014 Stunner was involved in another accident along Enterprise Road in Harare. Tally B, a fellow artiste who was with him in his vehicle sustained minor injuries.
After all those accidents, the ever boastful and cheerful rapper emerged unscathed from either the law or the wreckage of the metallic beasts he was in charge of.
It’s one of the rapper’s unique characteristics that even though to outside eyes, his life might be falling apart around him, he always seems calm and in control of the situation, totally unfazed by the chaos that seems to stalk him.
During her tearful rant Olinda pointed out that her family, friends and in her own words “the whole world” had warned her from getting involved with Stunner. Although he is not yet treated like a leper in Zimbabwean entertainment circles, it is certainly true that the dark cloud that surrounds the rapper does not reserve its showers for him alone.
Those that have got a little too close have also got burnt. No discussion of Stunner’s rock star lifestyle is complete without mention of Pokello, another woman who is familiar with the strife and heartbreak of a life too close to the rapper.
There is no doubt that Pokello, before she rehabilitated her image through a stint in the Big Brother house, emerged worse for wear from the sex tape that catapulted her to national infamy.
While Stunner, the proverbial cat with nine lives, emerged largely unscathed from that episode, Pokello was vilified as the woman with no morals that allowed her most private acts to be filmed and let loose willy-nilly on the internet.
It was a PR disaster for her and how she has managed to clean herself up and emerge as a powerhouse in her own right after that fiasco is truly remarkable.
“After the sex tape leaked, most people in Zimbabwe only knew me as the girl in the sex tape. I, therefore, wanted to tell my own story by showing them the other side of me,” she said to the man who was later to become her husband Elikem, while she was in the Big Brother house.
Olinda has since apologised, stating that she had acted on false information from a friend. The details of the relationship that she revealed will not be that easy to erase. While Zimbabweans will wish them well in their relationship, it is unlikely that they have heard the last from these two. While Desmond Chideme still draws breath, Zimbabweans will always have a front row sit to unscripted theatre rich in controversy and drama.