So we meet a dreamer who makes it happen! This guy grew up in the getto and is now making his dreams and others come true by starting a music recording studio for the getto.
Name: Jonathan Katele ”Joka Virus”
Family: Mother, 4 brothers, 2 sisters. Girlfriend, two suns 4 and 10 years old
Lives: Getto of Livingstone
Profession: Musician, Runs a music studio, restaurant staff
Facebook for music: Virus Entertainment
"We have made noise, people start attracting” Joka tells me, excited about what is happening. He is about to be able to go and get better equipment for his studio with the help of our fund, Cyclefundjaro.
So you grew up in the getto, here outside of Livingstone. How was that?
Streets were no streets then, they were more trails of dirt between clay huts and houses made of scrap wood, cardboard and wooden boxes. My father died when I was seven, he got sick. Most kids did not go to school. Many are orphans also today. Their is and were a lot of drug business.
For instance you can either pay 30 cents for entering a gym here or pay 30 cents for drugs and get to enter the gym for free. It is still like that. People have financial problems and make and sell alcohol in there sheds.
I was fortunate enough and could go to school, I was always drumming on everything, playing tunes and entertaining. Love music, always have! I put all my life to a career of music.
I got to go to school all the way to high school. The last year I funded it by selling drugs. Then a tourist from Afghanistan came one day and his phone had problems. I managed to help him and later he got me a job in South Africa. Then I quit selling drugs. </p>
I worked hard for three years 7 days a week long days always in different towns, sleeping in cars or the shops of the phone shops, occasionally in an apartment of an owner. I got in to a car accident and I was all alone for some time in a hospital. I had a broken arm but the company told me I needed to start working a week after the accident. It got me thinking and missing my family. So I took the money I had saved and went back to Livingstone and started repairing phones on my own, but in town. I only did it for a year when competition grew and I went to Kongo and bought second hand shoes, to sell in the street. I had this idea of a studio helping my music and the getto. It was in 2011 and a month later I started buying cement for building it. Little by little, every month some more material.
When I reached window level UNWTO, United Nation World Tourism O. They cleaned the streets from businesses and I had to go to Zimbabwe and sell all my shoes at ones. The money was used for going on a tourism and management course. I got a job at a resort and aimed to be the best employee, a half year later my boss quit and took me to his new company. A restaurant open 24h, 7 days a week. I was the manager and worked 19 h per day, going home for 2 hours to manage the construction of the studio and 3 hours of sleep. I was doing ok. Studio was happening. But the boss got in to some fight and had to sell and run to South Africa. At the time my girlfriend got accepted to a school and needed money for that. So we needed money. We had no jobs and the studio was almost finished but empty.
So we discussed and sold all. Sofa, TV, fridge. She went to school and I started the studio. It took a long time to get things started because no one wanted to do business with us in the getto. No one wanted to come and record here. So over the years I have done some music and been to competitions and now I had to do something so I contacted my fellow competitors and asked the more passionate ones to join me. So I started working with them, recording for free. Slowly, slowly I got paying clients. So now I work at a restaurant job, earning 60 USD per month. I pay for my girlfriends college, running the studio and my two kids. I also work as a volonteer at the YWCA, that is where I met Emma, the swedish soccer girl and lead singer in a song she and her friend wrote and mixed with us.
I, Fredrik, hear the song and get to see the video and it is actually great. It is more of a european music video production and the song is surprisingly very good. I hope I will hear it on swedish radio when I get back, it is that good. He also has his own web page, Joka Katele andVirus Entertainment on Facebook.</p></p>
So you built the studio in 2011?</span>Started in 2011 and it was erected in 2015. Now I record and have signed 11 artists. We experiment and play kind of Afro pop, RNB, and Hip hop. The music tells our life story. I still record almost all of them for free. But a couple of them are doing well and has been on TV and competitions in Lusaka, the capital, representing the southern region of Zambia. They all do drugs when they come here but I tell them they have to quit if they want to work with me. They can not do drugs on competitions. I am making my name and drugs and bad behavior endangers my business. </p>Me, Joka and Emma goes to his studio and we look at the music video they made and see the place. It is small but it is a studio. </p></p>
The equipment seem to be enough for what they do but I also notice that it is old and the speakers make a strange coughing sound every now and then. </span></span>
So what do you need to make this place run and grow?</p> Equipment is getting worn out fast. There are many artists and things brake. We also really would love to use a keyboard. The headphones are broke. The speakers can maybe be repaired. In the future we will get some guitars.</p></p>
I, Fredrik, love this project and I tell him that the transfer will go through Emma. Bike of good hope, will support this project with new headphones (40 USD), Keyboard (130), New speakers (500 USD). This is really a project that I am happy Cyclefundjaro can support, this is how the money should be spent.
I later here from Emma how happy this cool guy is. And a few days later I receive this message
This is when Joka has bought the keyboard and headset
and the speakers were unfortunatly more expensive but he can fix the old ones for now and save the money and get the speakers later.</span></span></span></span>
It feels great doing this donation. Thank You Emma and all you who have supported.To see the music video Joka and Emma among others have made click here.</p></span></p></p></span></span></span></span>