IF there is anything that the State broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), has always been disliked for by many, it is the way it is often used as a channel for Zanu PF propaganda and how it accorded airplay to music groups that grovelled towards former President Robert Mugabe.
BY ANESU MUSHAWATU
At the turn of the Millennium, the Rambai Makashinga and Sendekera jingles of 2003 and the Mbare Chimurenga choir’s songs and videos dominated the airwaves.
Mbare Chimurenga choir became prominent during the inclusive government era and one of their prominent songs was Nyatsoteerera, which sought to emphasise Zanu PF’s political dominance over MDC-T in the coalition government.
At one point, Nyatsoteerera became a signature tune on ZBC TV and some of its lines praised Mugabe and the then Vice President Joice Mujuru. When the latter was fired from government in 2014, the song “disappeared” from the airwaves.
One youthful musical group that rose to prominence at the time was the Born Free crew, made up of young artistes from Chitungwiza who played pop music in praise of Mugabe and Zanu PF and was aimed at luring young people to throw in their lot with Zanu PF under its leader.
Their popular tracks included President Mugabe Ka 1, Tshay’zandla (Rovai Maoko), Network, Zviri Sei, Diaspora and Kumberi kwekumberi and they even had hairstyles with the signature Gushungo trademark.
Following Mugabe’s ouster from power in November last year, many who used to grovel at him have quickly jumped ship to pledge their allegiance to his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa and among these is the Born Free Crew.
The group — fronted by DJ Anusa and Bruce — has bounced back from the scrap heap to sing praises for Mnangagwa in their forthcoming album — Hazvirambidzwe — set to be released soon.
The album will be preceded by the single, Mudhara Vauya, sung in honour of Mnangagwa.
“We just finished recording an eight-track album titled Hazvirambidzwe and we are working with our management for the release date,” DJ Anusa told NewsDay Life & Style.
“Next week we are releasing a single called Mudhara Vauya and the video will make an impact because we have improved a lot and I believe this album will have more impact than our previous albums because we have shot good quality videos and we have invested a lot of time and money in it.”
Produced by DJ Tamuka, the album is packed with revolutionary songs celebrating Zanu PF and its ideology.
DJ Anusa said they had since shelved, Mugabe praises and are now singing in praise of the “new dispensation”.
“We used to sing about (former) President Mugabe when he was in power but as you know we sing about Zanu PF and its leaders not former leaders, so this time it is all about ED because he is now the first secretary and our president. We are all about Mnangagwa,” he said.
“Our music is not affected by the ouster of the former President because Born Free Crew is associated with the party and not an individual. Leaders in the party will continue changing but the party stays forever.”
DJ Anusa said they would abide by Mnangagwa’s call to stop hero-worshipping, but will play an active role ahead of this year’s elections.
“Whenever we are marketing a brand, we are marketing Zanu PF, telling people to vote for Zanu PF and giving them reasons why they should vote for Zanu PF. Whenever we do that, names have to be mentioned, like right now we are going for elections and we are saying ED has my vote,” he said.
Other songs on the album are Why? Kumashure Hatidzokere, Rwendo and Zimbabwe.