Self-exiled Chimurenga music guru Thomas Mapfumo is set to make a long-awaited return to Zimbabwe after an eight-year absence, NewsDay can reveal.
Businessman Philip Chiyangwa, who is the promoter of the proposed first homecoming Mapfumo gig, confirmed yesterday that the legendary musician would be heading for Zimbabwe, contrary to reports attributed to the musician that he would not “play for poor people” back home.
The show, likely to draw hundreds, if not thousands of Mukanya’s followers, is tentatively scheduled for Ochi City in Domboshawa, just outside Harare.
Mapfumo’s Zimbabwe manager Cuthbert Chiromo confirmed that Chiyangwa had reached an agreement with the musician for the Zimbabwean shows.
“Chiyangwa has been in constant consultations with Mapfumo. They spoke over the weekend concerning the deal and contrary to misleading media reports that he has shunned Zimbabwe, he will be coming home for the gig,” said Chiromo, declining to confirm if the musician is coming back permanently.
“The people said they want Mapfumo to come home so he is coming.”
Chiyangwa said: “I am bringing him home for good. Mapfumo is my brother and I learnt that the reports published recently were after a misunderstanding on the part of the reporter.”
The Hurricane Hugo reportedly took a swipe at Chiyangwa in London recently, accusing him of bragging about his wealth in a sea of poverty.
Chiyangwa said he only had Ochi City in mind because of the freedom that the venue offers to revellers.
“We are yet to finalise, but I have Ochi City in mind because we will have different people at the show so it would be improper to have a restrictive venue,” he said.
The United States-based singer, who left Zimbabwe in 2004, was reported in recent media reports saying he would not return to Zimbabwe anytime soon because he would find it difficult to ask poor people to pay to watch his gigs.
“How do I ask people who are struggling to just get by to pay to watch me sing? I couldn’t do it,” Mapfumo is quoted as having said after a UK tour recently.