Mutare Zimdancehall sensation Tony D speaks on shocking, lifechanging crystal meth experience

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Mutare Zimdancehall sensation Tony D speaks on shocking, lifechanging crystal meth experience

Zimdancehall sensation Tony D who is now a pastor preaching at church.

…Turns to the pulpit, says guka is a satanic cultism drug

Adding, “The downside was that guka becomes expensive once you are hooked. I sold three cars. I had an Isuzu D’Max which I bought US$29 000 but I sold it for $16 000 and spent the money within a week. I sold my single cab Ford Ranger for $6000 and spent all the money within two days. I sold a Toyota Alphard which I had bought for $8000 and sold it for $3000. I would sleep in expensive hotels in Harare and spend money recklessly living the A’ lister’s life. It was reckless and bad.”

Ngoni Dapira

FROM rocking Zimdancehall fans to his irie dancehall tunes, Mutare based Zimdancehall sensation Tony D now lives a pastoral life after a remarkable turnaround story from substance abuse of crystal meth popularly known as guka, mutoriro or dombo in street lingo.

Now known as Mutumwa on the pulpit, which is his new calling, Tony D who was in the music industry for the past 18 years thanks God to be still alive, and has decided to share his story with the world to help combat the ongoing war against substance abuse which is increasingly now a national terror in Zimbabwe.

With seven albums during his 18 years music career, the last album being “Strong and Rigid” released in 2021, Tony D said he is expecting to release his first gospel album with a new sound this year in June as he embarks on his new clerical journey.

Tony D during his Zimdacehall hey days.

“It’s just amazing how the whole thing came to pass and how the Lord saved me from substance abuse,” said Tony D, in an interview with Easterntimeszim last week Friday about his new clerical role. “It’s just amazing to see how God just has a plan and we are all in his plan no matter how deep in a mess we get ourselves into.”

In 2007, Tony D relocated from Mutare to Mhondoro-Ngezi district in Mashonaland West after getting a job at a reputable mine (name withheld) as a Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) officer where he over the years rose through the ranks to command a lot of influence in the mining community. Coupled with his fame as a Zimdancehall musician he was quick to become a darling of the community especially amongst youths that follow Zimdancehall music.

Years went on well, with him building a huge fan base and growing his musical career and professional work career as a SHEQ officer. It was however in 2020 when his downfall started and within a year his whole life overturned. All it took was one pull of the crystal meth tube and from there he says unknowingly he had signed and sealed his covenant with the devil.

He said it all started in August 2020 during the height of the covid-19 pandemic when a group of 15 ladies visited the small mining community.

“On the fateful day when it all started in August 2020, we were doing our music rehearsal with my band on a Friday around lunch time. There was a breed of beautiful ladies that came at the lodge where we normally rehearse. They called themselves vana manjuzu because of their enchanting beauty like mermaid serpents. One of the them approached us and said she was looking for Tony D but did not know me in person. She said she wanted my music because she had heard a few tracks in the bar at that lodge the night before and liked it,” said Tony D.

He said he asked his band manager to download some tracks for her then she went away. A few hours later, the lady came back and highly praised his music citing that she was also an aspiring musician interested in doing a collaboration with him.

“She wanted to hang out with me and be shown around, since I was a popular figure in the community, so after rehearsals we drove around together for some hours showing her around. As it was getting late, I asked where to drop her off. She said she had a room at the lodge, but it was her aunts’ room. She had only come to visit for a few days. So we went into the room and at that time we were rolling marijuana, which we wanted to smoke together,” narrated the Zimdacehall sensation.

Whilst they were sitting in the room smoking the marijuana, this lady from out of the blue asked him where his first wife was? This shocked him because they had not talked about his personal family background. “She said I can see her sitting next to you. Her voice had changed. She now had a hoarse voice like person possessed. She asked me to call her aunt and tell her to bring snuff (bute),” he said.

The aunt came with the snuff then the lady started sniffing the snuff into her nasal cavity. “I was shocked and couldn’t understand what was going on. The aunt said babamunini sit down on the floor. The lady crazily started plucking off her fake nails and eye lashes extensions and pulled off her wig.”

Tony D said her hoarse voice became deeper after taking the snuff and at first he thought it was the marijuana they had smoked playing tricks on them, but she convinced him when she called out his totem, Chirandu, and requested for him to sit down. He decided to follow the instructions as he was still wondering how she had known his totem barely a few hours after knowing each other.

“She really looked like someone that was in a manifesting state.  I took off my shoes and set down as people do when they visit a shrine. She started highlighting my family history on point. For instance, the exact date when my dad passed away in 2015 and how I had been having nightmares (madzikirira) ever-since my first wife passed away in 2013. Astonished by how she could have known some of the personal things that only family knew, I was now a believer. That is when she pulled out a fluorescent light glass tube with crystal meth already prepared. Though at that time I did not know it was crystal meth,” he said.

An unidentified person smoking crystal meth.

Adding,” She said take this thing (meth tube). It will make you feel irie and help you overcome your nightmares problem. I did not hesitate because back then as a born and bred ghetto youth I was toughened and called myself a Rasta (Rastafarian) that could smoke anything to make me high. They taught me how to smoke it and that is how my crystal meth ruin began.”

Tony D said the devil designed crystal meth in such a way that from the very first time you take it, you feel some form of artificial confidence and hyperactive that you instantly like it. He said the feeling is far much better than marijuana which makes one feel tipsy sometimes. They smoked it from around 6pm until 4am that first day and he did not feel any after effects of a hangover, so he enjoyed it.

“As I am saying my testimony, I do not blame these ladies for initiating me but equally take the blame because the truth is one way or the other, the life that I was living, if it wasn’t them it was going to be someone else eventually that would sway me, because already I was into substance abuse of marijuana and easily vulnerable to try other drugs if tempted,” said the Zimdancehall artiste.

He said he had been smoking cannabis since 1999, mostly because of the peer pressure in the Zimdancehall music business, which has its own pressures for artistes to get song writing inspiration and for hyper energy on stage during live shows.

It was only eight months later that Tony D eventually put the pieces of the puzzle together and realized he had been a target from the onset and the ladies had used him to be an influencer of drug peddling in the small platinum and gold mining community. “The next day I went to their lodge and I asked where to get the product and what it was called. They said it was called dombo.  I had heard about crystal meth or the street lingo mutoriro or guka, but not dombo, so I thought it was a different product. I would actually say to them, I wish if all ghetto youths took the product instead of guka not knowing it was one and the same thing they had introduced me to.”

The ladies opened a bag full of the crystal meth and told me that they actually wanted to sell it in Ngezi. The portions varied from as little as US$3, $5 and half a gram $6. Dealers decide on a price depending on the market. In upmarket suburbs the price is higher whilst in high density ghetto’s its relatively cheaper.

A small sachet of methamphetamine (crystal meth).

“My first experience of smoking it, I felt as if a heavy load had been lifted and had found a solution to all my problems. For the first three days I did not sleep and smoked it from 6pm till 4am consecutively after work. You become so energetic and in the music industry one becomes so creative. That year alone (2020), I recorded 42 songs, something that I had never done before. Normally I recorded 10 to 12 tracks a year. They were 42 good songs, but it was definitely the devil at work, because all seemed too good to be true,” said Tony D.

He said with crystal meth you do not stagger or get drunk but just get energetic, however, when you reach what they call a para stage (paranoia) that is when you can sleep for about two days. “You become so super active and sexually active. I also became very irresponsible. I did not have a sense of urgency concerning anything. I could get a call from home that my child is not well but would ignore because it will just be all about me when under the influence of guka.”

Tony D said crystal meth is mostly a night life drug though some smoke at what they call drug bases (illicit drugs havens) during the day. He said there is an artificial society that exists at night in those drug bases with all sorts of illicit drugs being sold. There is what we call oil base where the guka is more expensive because it lasts longer and water base which is cheaper crystal meth that quickly evaporates.

Guka gets you into extreme moods. If you are happy its exciting, if you are angry you become a monster. This drug needs groupies because it thrives on interaction and influence. That is also where the street lingo comes from which becomes prominent among youths. I tell you that in those bases 99 percent of the guka smokers have unprotected sex. Some girls also get raped or are forced to sell their bodies just to get a fix when they do not have money. It is pure satanic cultism this drug,”  he said.

A few months after taking the crystal meth, Tony D said he began to feel the upside effects of the drug but was overpowered by the fallacies it created whenever he smoked the drug. “I could spend seven days without going home and I started having problems with my wife. At one time I even tried to stab her with a knife but was restrained by friends. At work my performance started dropping. From being one of the best SHEQ officers, I lost my touch. Of those 15 ladies I think three or four of them I was in a sexual relationship with them,” he said.

He said he however later found out from one of the ladies that some of the ladies had taken his semen after sex for rituals at a traditional healer in Mozambique. Since the ladies believed in mermaid spirits (manjuzu) they appeased the spirits with male semen to woo male customers. “Some of these girls actually bought cars, a Toyota Runx and Toyata IST from the drug peddling business I had created for them in Ngezi alone. However, as for me, I also became more popular. That is how the satanic cultism works. I began to feel like with the guka I was unstoppable and would rise to stardom. The way these drugs work you unknowingly sign your soul to the devil. The fact that it mostly happens during the night shows that it is satanic,” he said.

Adding, “The downside was that guka becomes expensive once you are hooked. I sold three cars. I had an Isuzu D’Max which I bought US$29 000 but I sold it for $16 000 and spent the money within a week. I sold my single cab Ford Ranger for $6000 and spent all the money within two days. I sold a Toyota Alphard which I had bought for $8000 and sold it for $3000. I would sleep in expensive hotels in Harare and spend money recklessly living the A’ lister’s life. It was reckless and bad.”

In August 2021, Tony D said after several visits by his mother and brother to Ngezi over his wayward behaviour and guka addiction, that is when he really started contemplating all he had lost and realized that dombo was actually crystal meth. He admitted that he had lived in denial for 12 months and even refused to everyone that he was now a drug addict.

Tony D said on that particular day that he decided to quit, he called those ladies and told them he did not know dombo was crystal meth and wanted to quit. They said he was their king and persuaded him to have the last hit with them.  The next day Tony D lost his job after an anonymous call from those ladies to his work place that he was working under the influence of drugs. A test was done for amphetamines and he tested positive so he was suspended and went for a first hearing but decided not to attend the hearings out of frustration.

After that he said his downfall plunged as he was now jobless with a severe drug addiction. “I had lost a lot of weight, from 92kgs I was now 49 kgs. I briefly lost my second wife because we separated for eight months, I lost three cars, I lost my job, I lost my pedigree, my reputation and lost my friends. I lost my health and literally lost myself because drugs make you drift from your loved ones. On a normal working week after knocking off at work at 5pm I would get back home at 4am and during weekends it was worse. In 12 months under drugs, I would say I spent one month only with my wife and family,” he said.

He then went for rehabilitation at a private rehabilitation centre in Harare which he said was very expensive. It was US$130 per day. He said unfortunately inside the centre there were some patients from well-up families who smuggled in the crystal meth, so he was tempted to smoke again. After six weeks at the rehabilitation centre he lied that he was feeling better and got out of the centre, but relapsed in no time at home. “I then started doing drugs in secret at home. I began selling things home. I remember selling our hoover. Most private rehabs are expensive and this is the other challenge in Zimbabwe so going back was not an option,” said Tony D.

On the other hand, he said those ladies were still waiting for his relapse trying all sorts of tricks to lure him back. “My uncle organized for us to go and see a Madzibaba (prophet) in Masvingo who helped me spiritually. He told me I had been initiated in a cult through mermaid spirits so it would require sea water for me to be cleansed at his alter. He cleansed me with the sea water and to our surprise the next day those girls started sending text messages to my uncle threatening to kill his daughter abroad for helping me recover from guka. They also threatened my mother. So that was the beginning of my spiritual journey but I however relapsed again. This was because I was being forced to go to church, but there came a time that I again introspected and realized I had lost everything and that is when I really asked for the Lords help and up to-date I don’t think this is my own doing but God’s grace. God made it possible for my transformation,” he said.

Mutumwa playing music at church for children.

Tony D who is now a pastor at Apostle Tavonga Vutabwashe’s Heartfelt International Ministries in Mutare since last year December said he is now nine months clean from substance abuse and progressively recovering. “I got born again in AFM Zimbabwe and started ministering there last year in May but I am now a pastor at Heartfelt International Ministries in Mutare. As my spiritual journey intensified those ladies would call and threaten me with all sorts of hullabaloo. They said my prayers were affecting them and even admitted that two of the ladies in their group had died mysteriously after they attempted to kill my mother and sister with their voodoo, but were overpowered by my back to sender prayers,” said the born-again pastor Mutumwa.

Mutumwa, as he now prefers to be called, is currently doing several programmes through his church ministering on substance abuse at church and in areas where drug bases are known in Mutare. “I believe God allowed me to go through this phase so that I may assist others like I am doing right now. Subtle engagement is needed when you have a drug addict in your family. Family support is also key for drug addicts but the approach is what is key. Getting the addict arrested is hardening the person for life. Crystal meth requires serious prayers. Our government should build more rehabilitation facilities that are cheaper. The current public facilities lack the necessary professionalism and equipment. An all-stakeholder approach is also needed. Medicine that deals with detoxification is also very expensive and government must subsidise to make it affordable. There is also need to use former addicts to be involved in mentoring programmes of drug addicts. However, this is a spiritual war and the church should be really involved. Substance abuse is satanism and people get into it unknowingly,” said Tony D as his advise on how to combat the incumbent war against drugs.

The father of four who has since patched things up with his wife admitted that it is not easy to recover from crystal meth. “It’s a process. It took a while to regain people’s trust even family, but I am now there. The level where I am, I can say I am happy but the battle is not yet over. For those that want to take this drug just know that the moment you take one hit you would have signed a contract with the devil and it will take time for God to forgive you. Your life will take a very deep and negative trajectory. Everything that matters to you will be lost. Be it trust, family, your assets and whatever money you get, you will be just buying drugs. It is possible to quit but very difficult. You will need to personally confess and ask for God’s help, but it’s a struggle because the devil will not go down without a fight,” said pastor Mutumwa.

The testimonial by Tony D comes as police have launched an ongoing blitz on drug lords, peddlers and abusers in an operation code-named “No to dangerous drugs and illicit substances” that has seen scores of drug suppliers being arrested.

Government is also working on reviewing the legal framework on dangerous drugs and illicit substances to come up with deterrent sentences for convicted persons who often prey on young people who are now major consumers of dangerous and banned substances.

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