POVERTY was his middle name.
Resentment became part of his life as he almost gave up on everything.
Deserted, when he was only nine, and unwanted in his teens, it all looked gloomy.
He says he never thought one day he would rise to become a darling of the country.
However, the hunger to succeed and having faith in God, helped him to rise to the top.
This aptly sums up Star FM’s most sought-after-presenter, DJ Ollah 7’s gruelling journey to the top.
Born Owen Madondo, the presenter conceded he never got it on a silver platter.
He recalled his past after celebrating his 30th birthday in style recently.
“I grew up under the care of my grandmother,” he said.
“She is the one who raised me after taking me from my mother when I was only nine months old.
“Then, I was still breastfeeding and she also took me to school.
“I was staying in the rural areas until I was Form Three.”
DJ Ollah 7 said relocating to the capital did not bring instant joy in his life.
“In 2007, I then came to Harare before enrolling at Zengeza High 1 School.
“Things were still bad, since my mother had remarried, and you know how it is,” said Ollah 7.
He said he never had a special bond with his father.
“I grew up as someone who did not know my family.
“I only saw my father in 2006, when I was doing Form Two.
“From there, I would visit but I did not stay with him.
“So, my life was painful without a father as my mother was struggling somewhere.
“My grandmother was struggling with me as we stayed in a two-roomed house, which I destroyed, and rebuilt a better one for her. “Currently, I now I have my own house and properties.”
The disc jockey, who hosts the Star FM’s After Drive show, said he would take any job.
“I didn’t get it easy in life and I had the guts to take any job.
“At one point, I became a vending tout, ndichisheedzera mumashops ehembe mutown umu, and my first employer was Biggie Chinoperekwei of Divine Assignment.
“I used to work at Bush House along Cameron Street before he opened another shop at corner Chinhoyi and Albion streets.
“I was again touting there and at that time I was a clothing tout and he was the first to be my paymaster.
“While I was there, I was noticed by someone who called me to their supermarket,” he added.
He said he got the life-changing opportunity when he went for the Star FM auditions.
“I went for auditions at Star FM, which were held at Alex Park.
“I arrived only to see about 2800 people.
“Fortunately, I qualified to be in the top eight.
“I thank God, but as someone who grew up in poverty, I can now do my own things. “This year, I decided to do a big birthday bash, in which I chose Chitungwiza since that’s where I grew up after I came from kumusha.
“I have not stayed anywhere except Chitungwiza.
“I planned this bash at Leisure Centre. I did an event which had VIPs and family,” said Ollah.
The young presenter said the bash was meant to unite friends, fans, corporate and family members.
“The reason was to unite my relatives, church, corporate because these people contributed to be what I am today.
“I had several artists, Baba Harare, Vabati vaJehova, Nutty O, Mathias Mhere, Rumbi Zvirikuzhe, BaShupi, Peter Moyo, Mambo Dhuterere, King Shaddy.
“They came to perform for free.
“They came to support me and we had more than 10 000 people.
“I was surprised since I have not done any show like this in my life.
“I felt so humbled, to see such a big number
“My budget was around US$3500 for everything. Some people helped me, but most of the things I did it alone.
“I thank God for helping this,” he added.
He shared his experience in the industry.
“I now have a decade on radio, I am moving with my theme #Rewriting my own history#Changing my narrative.
“The story is based on where I am coming from and where I am going.
“This is based on what happened before, the narrative/ perception which people know about me.
“People should now have a new narrative on me, not Ollah the small name, I was 10 years ago.
“There is the new Ollah, a new brand. I am now on a new level, ndiMwari, I thank you.”