Village Rhapsody: Winky D persecution a stain on Zimbabwe’s image

In fact Winky D loves his country and shows this by working hard to identify some gaps that need to be corrected and he remains consistent with his type of lyrics.

Music and art have a long history of uniting people.

Apart from entertaining and educating people, societies gather and come together to drown their sorrows in art.

Even at the height of the liberation war, music oiled and motivated fighters through Chimurenga music.

Bob Marley, the Jamaican legend, was invited to perform at celebrations to mark Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980 and that signified the power of music in uniting people of different racial backgrounds. 

Zimbabweans have endured so much pain brought by bad governance under Zanu PF leadership.

Some brave creatives that include musicians have been doing social commentary to decry the people’s suffering and to implore the country’s leaders to do something about it.

“Music brings us pleasure and releases our suffering. It can calm us down and pump us up.

“It helps us manage pain, run faster, sleep better and be more productive,” Alex Doman, an entrepreneur and music producer  in these famous lines captured Zimbabwe’s situation.

However, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has turned out to be brutal to musicians who try to mirror society through their music.

The continuous victimisation of dancehall star Wallace Chirumiko popularly known as Winky D by state agencies and Zanu PF supporters is a cause for concern.

It started when he launched his album titled ‘Njema’ on December 31, 2019.

His music kept many, particularly his legion of fans, entertained and shielded  from Zimbabweans' economic problems .

Winky D has been labelled unpatriotic following the release of his chat-topping  “Eureka” album on December 31, 2022. Zanu PF-aligned The Economic Empowerment Group (EEG), which is aligned to Mnangagwa, said Winky D’s music should be banned for allegedly being anti-government.

In fact Winky D loves his country and shows this by working hard to identify some gaps that need to be corrected and he remains consistent with his type of lyrics.

The mentality of those behind EEG and like-minded groups is that for musicians to be patriotic they have to produce songs that praise the new dispensation.

The big question is: Do the rulers deserve any praise for bad governance?

Humans are wired to music.

The Zanu PF government must accept the fact that Zimbabweans have a dedicated part of their brain for processing music, supporting the theory that it has a special, important function in their lives and putting into context the current satiation in the country.

Fix the country and everything will get back to order.

One of the most effective ways to communicate with numerous people at once is through music.

Sometimes it takes certain music to genuinely touch people's hearts, while other times it simply helps them forget about their troubles.

Music is a powerful healer.

Everyone has at least a few songs they turn to after a breakup to help them cope with the agony and sadness.

When we listen to music, it can occasionally bring back memories—both happy and terrible.

Whatever the musical style, it all helps us bond. In this case, Winky D touches the hearts of suffering Zimbabweans who have been so patient for a better Zimbabwe.

Like in his song “Dreams” where he featured Saintfloew “Corruption tichaichipisa ichanaka Zim” which means we will deal with corruption and Zimbabwe will be good.

Winky D is indeed a national treasure. His music frees the soul.

It allows people to express themselves in ways that are unimaginable.

It can relax and excite at the same time and even bring out emotions one never knew existed.

His music brings love into the air and it makes people feel more connected.

It creates memories that will last for a lifetime.

It doesn’t matter what Zanu PF believes in or stands for and Winky D's music is for everyone.

Some artistes remain mute while their fellow artiste Winky D is treated as though he committed a crime.

Winky D's message is not campaigning for any political party, but as a Zimbabwean, he is speaking out against the Zanu PF government's corruption and social injustice.

The government, through the Arts ministry led by Kirsty Coventry, must be seen protecting artistic freedom and its silence on the Winky D issue leaves a lot to be desired.

Persecution of artistes puts Zimbabwe in the league of rogue states such as North Korea and that is not good company to keep.

  • Evans Mathanda is a journalist and development practitioner who writes in his personal capacity. For feedback email: [email protected] or call 0719770038 and Twitter @EvansMathanda19

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