He was surrounded by the wrong people-Fidel

By Rosalia David

FOLLOWING the death of legendary rapper and producer Shilongo Peuyavali Ashipala, known as Kanibal who recently committed suicide, fellow industry peers have blamed his associates for his alleged ‘mental health breakdown’ saying that they never helped him grow financially.

“People used his talent as he was more of a producer than a musician. He would accept any amount offered to him for his work because he was more focused on building the industry than himself,” industry guru Fidel Nambundunga said.

Nambundunga has established the music careers for some of the biggest names in music in the country such as Lady May Africa, Berthold, Killa B, Slick the Dick and many more.

Nambundunga went on to state that, a lot of industry peers were aware of Kanibal’s struggles yet, they continued to push him into alcohol and getting high.

“The same people who were praising him, are the same people who were not helping him build in terms of making money through producing. He was a very talented guy and he knew it, however, he was going through a lot and never saw his success,” he added.

He further stressed that it is high time producers in the country reap benefits from their hard work.

“If we start aligning our minds to taking music as a business, producers would be making a lot of money from royalty percentages on most of the songs they have put their hands on, but that is not the case.”

Nambundunga, who refused to indulge more into the late Kanibal’s rumours of allegedly insulting his mother before passing on, said he has no idea on what really happened but however mentioned that he hardly lived with his family.

“When I decided to work with him on the Deadly Ground Project, I didn’t find him in the right space … he hardly had a phone which made it hard to get hold of him unless I found him online to pick him up for studio. There was a time he lived on the streets and Bella Harris took him in and not many know that,” he further stressed.

Apart from being used to make music for musicians without being reimbursed or rather offered a drink, Nambundunga said, there were a few who tried getting him professional health.

He said people tried to assist him however it was already late.

The former rapper further emphasised the importance of creating platforms for musicians to speak on important issues and help each other grow.

“Gazza and Dogg and other big artists should remember that, there are people who made them so they need to help the industry grow.

There is nothing wrong with giving an opportunity for an upcoming musician from Soweto to perform at any of their big shows for example.”

In the same breath he urges King Tee Dee to release the late Kanibal’s album which he is allegedly sitting on produced under the brand Omshasho.

“For the sake of his family, he must just release the work that they did, if there were any issues, he is gone now.

Even if it means releasing the album under his label,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, female rapper Bella Harris who lived with the late Kanibal for some time described him as a loving man who was more interested in helping people’s music careers than his.

“Wherever he went, he would talk about his struggles, they were not a secret because he would say, and he wants his hard times to inspire a few people. All of a sudden after his passing, everyone was his friend, all we can say for now is that he was going through so much. We loved him!” she said before taking a deep breath.

Rapper Diogene Ochs better known as D-Jay also described Kanibal as one of the industry guys who kept them together doing producing work behind the scenes.

“Kani created pages for new hip-hop talent to show their work and helped those who needed help, while connecting upcoming artists with us that have been around. He pushed hip hop on radio when he was working there,” he said.

D-Jay said Kanibal did not only rap or produce music, he was also a songwriter who wrote bomb lyrics for many artists.