Sanii Makhalima’s latest project, Get Connected, has drawn him into the eye of a storm, with fans registering disquiet at how the promising urban groover has been caught up in the intricate Zanu PF politics that have left many an artist with a dented career image in the past.
The project was hastily put together under the name Born Free Crew.
The album, which was officially presented to President Robert Mugabe last month, carries songs that seek to give a facelift to Zanu PF’s dented political profile ahead of the next presidential plebiscite which, if things go Zanu PF’s way, could be held as early as March next year.
While Sanii believes his encounter with the Head of State was a step to a higher level for urban grooves music, his fans think otherwise, as indicated by the postings littering his Facebook wall.
One Shumirai Daisy Chirapa said:
“I had so much respect for you Sanii. You just lost it. Shame!”
According to another fan, Andrew Nyamhere, the urban groover needed to tread cautiously as he waded into the political waters.
“Sani can’t you see the writing on the wall. The python is moving towards you like a chameleon and before you know it,” Nyamhere wrote, “you will be in the python’s bowels and unfortunately there is no going back. If I were you I would be very scared, not rejoicing.”
Terence Makubika likened Sanii’s latest venture to being thrown into acid.
Esther Chamisa-Grant said it was important for Sanii to understand that he was enjoying his current status as a musician because of his fans’ support, adding that he needed to tread cautiously because he was now dabbling in politics.
Diaspora-based Harmony Makumbirofa said he was an economic refuge “stuck in a foreign” land because of the failed economic policies of the Mugabe government and urged Sanii to be careful.
“Revise your public relations. You are entitled to your own opinion but don’t tarnish your image by washing your dirty underwear in public,” Makumbirofa said.
Other fans, however, said Sanii was entitled to his own opinion, and people did not have to vent their political frustrations on him.
Nhewa Simboti advised Sanii not to take the hate messages posted on his wall seriously.
He said: “Sani, I’m proud that you are back home. Some people commenting sh*t here are actually ‘refugees’ in some state. Be proud and I will support you to the end.”
Hilary Mare said it was unbelievable that people should “hate Sanii for his political affiliation”.
In a recent interview with NewsDay, Sanii said: “I respect the President, and if people are unhappy with that, they are not my true fans. They have to accept me for who I am.”
For exclusive excerpts from Sanii’s interview, look out for it on Saturday.