From a short stint working at a mine in Zambia’s Copperbelt region to becoming one of Zambia’s most celebrated and prolific rappers, Chef 187 is redefining the new age African star. The award-winning musician blends the Nyanja, Bemba and English languages in his writing. Many Zambian youth identify with Chef 187 due to his authenticity and song content that is widely relatable. His music is highly characterized by traces of West Coast hip-hop, up-tempo Kilindula and R&B influences. He has stated before that his controversial name has two intertwined interpretations: one suggests that where music is food for the soul, he is the Chef, while 187 borrows from slang commonly used to refer to murder by US Police. In full, Chef 187 comes together to mean ‘’Kill, Cook and Serve’’ music. He makes his debut on Coke Studio Africa 2019, paired alongside the first artist to join Coke Studio Africa as a music producer: Rophnan Nuri.
Following in the footsteps of his older brother – Macky 2, Chef 187 came onto the music scene in 2005. Five years later, he made waves when he hopped on a diss track with Macky 2 dubbed “2010”. He then released his 16-track debut album Heart of a Lion, known for hits like “Ndafilwa Ukuichindika”, “Sinawala’’, “Kumalila Ngoma’’ and a 9-track project titled “Sitiliti Music” both released in July, 2015. In October the same year, he released a deluxe version of his 8-track project “Amenso Pamo”. His discography was revitalized with the release of his latest studio album “Amnesia” released in 2016. The project was an ode to the culture and community that loyally supported him over the years. He has scooped awards for Best Mainstream Album award, Best Hip Hop Album, Best Mainstream Male artist and Best Collaboration at the Mosi Lager Zambian Music Awards (ZMAs).
As a true demonstration of his rapid rise as a brand, Chef 187 has worked with major international and regional brands such as Coca-Cola and Hungry Lion, helping the brands make invaluable connections with his fans. He was also named the brand ambassador of Lusaka’s based premier airline, Proflight in 2015. He has had an illustrious career performing at major events countrywide and working with organizations to promote pertinent social causes across Zambia. In 2016, he launched his own clothing line “In a relationship Ne Ndalama” – which is a range of urban wear.
Born Kondwani Kaira in Luanshya, he is the fourth born in the family of six and the younger brother of Macky 2, a celebrated hip-hop heavyweight in Zambia. He attended elementary school in Lusaka at Woodlands B, but reckons that it was his move to the Copperbelt where he went to Kabundi High School in Chingola that his interest in music was piqued. Chef is now signed to Alpha Entertainment Music.