CHIMURENGA music legend Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo — who is set to stage his first show in the country in a decade — has offered his local fans a golden opportunity to select some of the songs to make up his play list as he seeks a memorable way of reconnecting with them during the Welcome Back Bira on April 28.
Chimurenga Music Company spokesperson, Blessing Ivan Vava, told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that the decision was meant to honour the musician’s fans for their loyalty and support.
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“It is a rare opportunity and a blessing to his fans to request their favourite songs. He is where he is because of the fans and as such, their will should prevail,” Vava said.
“We will focus on the most requested songs, adding on to the provisional playlist which the band is rehearsing.”
Although there have been suggestions that Mukanya had been offered a house by the government — which reportedly extended the invitation to perform in Zimbabwe to him — Vava dismissed these as untrue.
“He has not been offered anything,” Vava said, adding that Mukanya had properties in Zimbabwe and in the United States
The musician and his band will, however, be housed at a central location during their stay in Zimbabwe for purposes of logistics, Vava said, although he was not at liberty to disclose the venue as yet.
Vava said although this trip was specifically for the show, after which the band will return to the US, Mukanya had long term plans to settle in the country.
A fierce critic of former President Robert Mugabe’s government because of its unflattering human rights record and corruption, Mukanya commanded a huge following in his home country.
Reputed as one of Zimbabwe’s finest musicians, he has over the years churned out music that resonated with his countrymen at a time when pointing an accusing finger at the government was almost regarded as treasonous.
Since the beginning of his career in the 1960s, Mukanya was renowned for speaking truth to power, something he carried into independent Zimbabwe, placing him on a collision course with the authorities.
The album Corruption (1989), in which he spelt out his disillusionment with the Mugabe government, marked a new trajectory in his music.