Enzo denies that he was a contestant in Zanu PF primaries even though his name did appear on the contestants’ list in the Sunningdale constituency’s primary elections.

I DO not enjoy talking politics in this column since it is often dedicated to happenings in music circles. However, when musicians decide to mingle with politics, I can’t help it but to make a comment about it.

Hopefully my comments will help some of them to see things the way I see them.

From a long time back, people were telling me that politics is a dirty game. At first, I did not believe this because I saw these people who were called Honourable this and Honourable that as honest, trustworthy people with a lot of integrity. Little did I know, as I discovered later, that the majority of them went into politics in order to improve their financial resources.

  I have had the opportunity to learn that throughout the world, those who get into politics (even top politicians) eventually end up in disasters. To give examples, look at Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Muammar Ghadaffi (Lybia), Dr. Hastings Banda (Malawi), Idi Amin (Uganda), Saddam Husein (Iraq), Samora Machel (Mozambique), Frederick Chiluba (Zambia),  Laurent Kabila (DRC),  Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) and lately, Donald Trump (USA), to mention only a few. They all ended up in disasters.

That politics is indeed a dirty game is not a cliche because politics is really dirty and stinking, and for you to be a politician (a politician in the limelight and not some backyard honourable) you will need to get dirty or play dirty.

The amount of money that gets wasted in the quest for political power, the amount of betrayal and backstabbing that goes on in politics and political campaigns, the level of lies, dishonesty and fake promises that men who are expected to be upstanding and exhibit the highest level of integrity in the society tell just to grasp power and satisfy their political quest and ambition is ridiculous.  Some of them, after winning their political campaigns will not be seen or heard from until the next election.

On March 23, last month, several well-known musicians and other celebrities such as Philip Chiyangwa, Herentals FC player and owner, Innocent Benza and musician Sandra Ndebele contested the Zanu PF primaries  in a bid to jostle for political positions.

Musicians who were contesting in the Zanu PF primary elections include Sandra Ndebele (who won the primary elections in Pelandaba-Tshabalala constituencies in Bulawayo), Energy Mutodi (who was elected Zanu PF National Assembly Representative for Bikita South Constituency) and Kudzanayi Mamhare aka Enzo IShall who lost  in Harare’s Sunningdale constituency.

A lot of musicians are finding it hard to make money from music during these hard times.

Some of them decided to join the Zanu PF bandwagon of contestants in the recently held Council, Parliament and Senate primary elections. With the biting economy and the limited formal employment opportunities in the country, becoming a politician and having a side hustle becomes the only way to survive.

The story this week is about Enzo Ishall, the losing candidate who is also a well-known musician.

 Enzo denies that he was a contestant in Zanu PF primaries even though his name did appear on the contestants’ list in the Sunningdale constituency’s primary elections. His denial is understandable as I guess he might have thought that his popularity in music will translate to popularity in politics. Big music giants such as the late Oliver Mtukudzi would probably have won if he had dared to enter into politics, but with his maturity and wisdom, he decided to separate his music from politics.

However the musician, Kudzanai Mamhare popularly known as Enzo Ishall who decided to enter into this dangerous field, was humiliated by Zanu-PF supporters after receiving only seven votes out of 1,385 in Sunningdale.

Enzo, who is usually invited to perform at the party’s rallies with music producers DJ Fantan and Levels, was defeated massively in the primaries.

Only seven people remembered him while more than 1,378 rejected the musician.

Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono had this to say: “I don’t understand why the young man chose to taint his name by joining Zanu PF and being rejected by them too.”

Another commentator, Eddie Mtetwa, had this to say: “This young man has problems. Look at Andy Brown, Peter Majoni and Tambaoga.  They tried to mingle with politics but in the end, they all sank. These artistes’ music is only listened to by the likes of Chinotimba. Enzo is sinking fast. Only Tafadzwa Mugwadi will listen to him. Why can’t he blow with the wind and follow Winky D’s footsteps? Alternatively, he must attend the school of music where the likes of Filbert Marova, Tendai Chimombe Prince Musarurwa and Tina Watyoka went and became better musicians.”

 Enzo Ishall is the guy who gave us hits such as Kanjiva, Magate, Smart Inotangira Kutsoka, Chimuti, Uri Kutsvireiko and Vakamhanya Mwakarimwa within a short period of time. 

With such hits, Enzo had become a powerful force within Zimbabwe, especially among the ghetto youths.

However, very few of the ghetto youths will bother with Zanu PF politics. This is probably what Enzo failed to gauge.  They will come to music shows but will not queue up to vote for anything because standing in a queue for hours just to cast a vote, is a boring thing. Besides, in order to vote, one has to register first. That is also another boring thing. Attending a music show does not need the production of an identity card and proof of residence. You simply enter either by hook or crook and end up having fun. Perhaps Zanu PF should have used Enzo Ishall to campaign and mobilise the youth to conscientise them about the importance of voting and register as voters in the just-ended primary elections.

I have been watching Enzo Ishall from the early stages during the   days and suggested straight away that he had a future in music. I told him so and even recommended him to the adjudicators of the Nama Awards which resulted in him bagging one in 2018.

However, after the events in 2018, it seems the young man had become big-headed and needed serious counselling.

First of all, there was talk about him and his wife splitting up as a result of the video he produced on 50 Magate. Then there was the incident in Sunningdale where he was attacked by a gang of five men who posed as his fans but were eventually exposed as his rivals. Then it is also alleged that the songs Kumisa Ngoro  and Highest Score recorded after his deal with Passion Java were banned from airplay by  the ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Censorship Entertainment and Control Unit because they had vulgar  and satanic lyrics.  He went on to write another vulgar song, Bhiza Rinoda Mutasvi.

 Marshall Shonhai, who is well-known in social circles, an event planner, speaker and author of several books including The Evolution of African Marriages, who had foreseen Enzo going in the wrong direction, put it succintly and publicly on his whatsapp  and facebook platforms to Enzo Ishall at the end of 2020. Shonhai’s advice to Enzo was simply to ask him not to get big-headed and not to be trapped by money after he had signed a deal with self-styled controversial prophet Passion Java which culminated in the release of the very weird song and video Highest Score.

“It spooked many because it was way outside what you have become known for. The song divided opinion, with some loving the "dark art" with many others dismissing it as Satanic,” emphasised Shonhai.

“That is what happened with Panganayi (Passion Java). He came and bought your currency and used it to push his own brand. Out of that arrangement, he benefitted more than you did. Yes, you might have earned a few more dollars but value-wise you lost out,” Shonhai reiterated.

This is good advice from Marshall. Now that the young man has delved into politics, the people’s opinion about what Enzo really stands for, is further divided.

Who would have known about Enzo Ishall if he had not held the microphone? Who would have known that Enzo Ishall will tour Australia and the United Kingdom if he was not a musician? All these things were brought about by the fact that he became a musician and not a politician. 

However, as often happens in the music business, with the success he had achieved in 2018 and 2019, the young artiste started to spoil it by riding roughshod over the advice he was getting from experienced artistes and others.

However, with only seven votes in the ballot box, Enzo has now realised that there is no coasting period. My advice to Enzo is:

Being in the moment is wonderful, but sometimes you have to ask where the moment leads.

And even though I’m telling you all this because I think it’s worth something - don’t ask me about these things - talk to people who do it. And don’t ask them what you should do .- You aren’t a wind-up toy. Ask them about what they do and why. I have learnt that the more you feed your mind with positive thoughts, the more you attract great things in your life. In my opinion, being a politician is not a positive thought.

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