CHIMURENGA music fans in Harare on Tuesday thronged Book Café in anticipation of talking to Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo over social media platform Skype during the launch of his latest album Dangerzone.
Mukanya’s publicist in Zimbabwe, Blessing Vava, had told NewsDay before the launch that Mukanya would take questions over Skype from his United States of America base, but this failed due to poor Internet connectivity.
“The network went down around 1700hours and we had no choice except to use the pre-record video which we had done as a contingency measure,” Vava said.
Speaking in the video that was played at the launch, the Nyoka Musango singer urged local artistes to join hands to fight piracy which has affected the growth of the music industry.
“Piracy has killed our industry and you must put your heads together and approach the government to act on the issue,” Mukanya said.
“The government must protect our industry.”
Speaking at the launch, Member of Parliament for Mazowe South Fortune Chasi also bemoaned piracy and said it was high time the music industry was revamped.
“We have a serious problem with piracy in Zimbabwe and musicians have to regroup and look at the issues of copyright,” Chasi said.
“Let us give music its correct place in society and as a country we need to invest in music. If the royalties were well structured one would retire and survive on the royalties.”
The CD was auctioned with trade unionist-cum-musician Raymond Majongwe paying $190 for it.
The launch coincided with the Tribute to Thomas Mapfumo Concert where an array of musicians among them contemporary musician Jah Prayzah, Victor Kunonga, Cynthia Mare, Jairos Chabvonga, poet Chirikure Chirikure, Majongwe Mannex and Rudo Chasi performed in honour of the Chimurenga legend.
Dangerzone’s release comes five years after his last album, Exile, in 2010.
The album carries 12 tracks among them a rendition of Shebeen.
Other songs on the album are the title track Dangerzone, Chikonzero, Zimbabwe, Varimudande Nhamo Hurombo, Hatidi Politics, Celebrate, Chikwereti Music, Are You Ready and Pasi Idandaro.
The 69-year-old Mukanya last performed in Zimbabwe 11 years ago.
Vava said: “It was indeed a memorable night as we launched Thomas Mapfumo’s new album Dangerzone, which is now available countrywide. A big thank you to Book Cafe, musicians, journalists, bouncers, record companies and most importantly the fans who filled the venue, your continued support is greatly appreciated.
“Let us buy original copies and fight piracy, some are already sending messages hanzi nditumirewo pa app kana pa email. Sorry I cannot do that. Chimurenga Music Company. ”