Known in Zimbabwe mostly by his stage name KingPinn, Tonderai Enerst Makoni was a Zimbabwean Hip Hop music artist who was active for less than 5 years. He committed suicide on May 12 2003 in Cape Town where he was studying Political Science and Media studies. He was the son of the politician, Simba Makoni. One of his most popular songs “I salute you“, is a tribute to Africa’s liberation war fighters.
Born in the UK, Makoni attended Thornhill Primary School in Gaborone, Botswana and later went to Watershed College in Marondera, Zimbabwe for his high school. Tonderai’s older brother, Takura Makoni, liked rap music and growing up would make music and share it with his siblings. Tonderai also loved the genre and around 1998 was starting to compose his own songs. It’s been said one day, he performed to his older brother at home.
Upon realising his young brother’s talent, Takura helped King Pinn to get some studio experience. The first studio project that King Pinn worked on was with The Blackfoot Tribe, in which he was featured. The project was done at Shamiso Records in Eastlea, Harare, a studio owned by Gilbert Muvavarirwa. The track was produced by Ian Hillman who was once bass guitarist for the late great Andy Brown and the Storm. The Blackfoot Tribe was made up of Professor The Four P, Vic Fox, Laygwan Sharkie, Chief ‘Tone Capone’ Chihota and Rassie Ai (Takura).
Makoni ended his life on 12 May 2003 while studying at the University of Cape Town.