A Moment With… Outspoken

Outspoken knows how to use words and how to use them well…

He is known as a spoken-word emcee and front-runner to his eccentric hip-hop band “Outspoken and The Essence” and one half of the hip-hop duo Dialectrik Blue. Beyond his music he is a workshop facilitator, farmer (from when he was young) and co-founder of Magamba Cultural Activist Network.

He has tours in South Africa, Europe and North America with no album released to his name.

He is currently putting the final touches his band’s debut album and busy with tour commitments, so it took an effort to get a moment with Outspoken.


What is your government name?

My parents called me Tongai Leslie from birth, or maybe a few moments after that, all the government did was give me a number that they can’t even keep up with so they constantly ask me to prove my existence beyond my own words! hahaha

What do you like to call yourself?

Nothing really,  i exist with self and all the definitions i have still cannot quantify or qualify me, so when its all said and done i hope nothing is done from what is said. Plus i got waay too many nicknames for one question in one interview! hahaha

What is the most ridiculous nickname you have ever had?

I can tell you right now that of all the interviewees that you’ve asked that question, none of them have given you thier most ridiculous! If they say they have, then I’m a blue unicorn who rolls with nothing but smurfs and avatars! Oh, and im not gonna give you mine as well! hahaha! You think I laugh too much? Or people take life too seriously? Anyway…

Which side of the bed do you sleep on?

That would be the side that is above the floor and below the ceiling! Hopefully. Besides, if you really know which side of the bed you sleep you focusing on the wrong thing altogether man. Close your eyes and sleep dammit!

Are you left-handed or right-handed?

I am ambidexterous like most people, but if you mean which hand i use to write with, its my left hand, apart from that I’m too busy doing stuff with my hands to know which one is handling what more!

What is your favourite instrument?

The toilet seat.

What is the first song you fell in love with?

My love for music was very promiscuous from a very tender age that I cannot honestly say which joint gave me my first eargasm.

Best concert you have ever been to?

Checking out k’naan at the trinity hip-hop festival in connecticut and getting to talk to him backstage after that. He has the ability to make it seem like he is talking to you directly when he is performing.

Of the places u have performed which your most memorable?

There a quite a lot, but the one me and my band really liked was 2009 poetry africa closing ceremony at the bat centre. The energy and setting was just right for the tracks we had on rotation that night.

How do you deal with groupies?

Wow! I cant believe cats still think I’m that kind of artist. I make boring kill-joy music that really doesn’t attract that much attention with pantie throwers! Most of the people that come up to me after a performance or walk up to me in the streets often share jems of knowledge and teach me something about my music and poetry that I hadn’t noticed or percieved in their way. I don’t think i got any groupies at all, if I do they sure as hell do some heavy undercover work! hahaha (no pun intended!)

How excited were you when the first groupie hollered at you?

Never had a groupie holler at me. I don’t think such a people exist! Groupies would only be a bunch of friends that only know and get excited over a part of your thinking they will not get a chance to know more about you in the future, honestly I can’t recall any groupie moments, or maybe my perception made me not see it as such. I don’t even think I have fans! Just a bunch of new friends that I meet all the places i go and connect with on a not-so-regular basis. I guess its just goes back to the way i was raised man, if it ain’t family or friendship then it probably ain’t work it. So far I’ve just seen a positive influx  where friends are concerned.

Where is Zimbabwean music going?

Wherever the people are taking it. I honestly have no idea, I keep myself far from know whats going on around what I do, because for me I wouldn’t want any external situations to influence my constantly current state of human becoming. (I hate to sound this way, but I feel it’s the best way to describe how I think, hope i don’t come across as cocky or whatever)

Where is your art form going?

At this point in time I am still to young to be defined, if I find it hard to label myself, I would appreciate not being labelled because if I am to ever evolve in who and what I am and am about, I don’t want a situation where people label me as a hypocrite or unstable substance. Im just another passanger on a bus whose destination is best known on arrival, and I’m too absorbed in taking in all the sites from my window view to care what the driver is saying.

What do you want to be remembered for?

Kingpinn isn’t remembered, he was never forgotten, for all those that leave this physical state, I don’t think a facebook status will bother them much either way. I want to impact the present whenever I can, the future is there for all those that lay claim to it. But if you really must know, I don’t wanna be remembered for owing nobody no paper! hahaha. Nah, memories don’t live like people do! My friends and family will be the best people to speak on that, they probably more qualified to speak on me than I am!