Jah Prayzah drops new album, Kutongwa Kwaro

Jah Prayzah drops new album, Kutongwa Kwaro

At a time when all things in Zimbabwe are blurred and politics in sharp focus, Jah Prayzah drops his new album Kutongwa Kwaro this evening amidst a goulash of expactations.

The album name, loosely translated means “Leadership” but in a somewhat discourteous manner to the character (himself or someone else) the regional star refers to in this latest offering.

Could this be his way of signalling the current chaos the country finds itself in, politically, as a cabinet re-shuffle has just ruffled feathers in this old cock that has led the country for the past 37 years?

Could Jah Prayzah, like his stage name, be prophetically singing of the times we find ourselves in, from Elohim with a message for us all to pay attention to our current leadership and demise while possibly learning of a way out through his message?

Could Zimbabwe’s 37-year nightmare – the sacked or lamented leadership, the disastrous political fighting and tortuous economy – finally be over and revealed in song and dance as his title assumes? Or could we be clinging onto nothing but clever wording and marketing by the rising regional musical star?

His album that has already broken self-set records by the artiste as the most marketed, comes at a time when every aspect of Zimbabwean life is in the pits and probably, just probably, could resuscitate a lethargic economy that is on the brink of self exploding.

It could be his greatest offering so far, if regional music is concerned, as he ventures to establish himself as an equal to one of the region’s biggest names in showbiz, Davido (Nigeria) who will perform alongside him at the Harare International Conference Centre later today.

my-lilly-jah

Davido, who has recently been questioned on the mysterious murders of his colleagues in which he has been called into questioning by police in Nigeria, will be relieved to avoid the negative publicity he faces in his country at the moment with the trip down to the once ‘bread basket of Africa’.

Jah Prayzah will also yen for some good publicity through the same show as his track “Mdhara Vachauya” in particular, has been “linked” and “likened” to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s arrival to the helm of the sinking Titanic (Zimbabwe) and restore all that has been lost but who has just lost his post as Minister of Justice through the recent re-shuffling in the hands of the nonagenarian leader.

The Uzumba-bred star will shoot to aim at a far larger market than locally as it seems he has tasted regional success with collaborations with Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania) and Mafikizolo (South Africa) which have been received fairly well but has been left vulnerable back at home with fans who feel JP has moved away from his original sound while the upcoming mimic, Andy Muridzo, has been left to capitalise and feel the void. 

jah prayzah 

His fans will have to accept the crooners change in tune to accomodate a much wider and more lucrative Africa, a conundrum he faces as he tries to satisfy both old and new fans alike.

His seven albums, though loosely characterised, are not an easy walk in the park especially with a Zimbabwean crowd that is not loyal in any way. If there is anything that Jah Prayzah has given the large followers he commands, is the guaranteed joy of music, a feat that was solely manned by Oliver Mtukudzi who at 65 years, never fails to deliver.

Jah-Prayzah and tuj

If we are to judge a book by its cover, Kutongwa Kwaro, might just be a best seller but then again, we must never. For artists have been known to find one spark within a list of dull moments, the proof is certainly in the pudding.

As the cash strapped Zimbabweans dig deep and hustle hard to attend the show, it is but a matter of time before we deduce which side of the fence we lie. Hopefully it will not suffer the same fate as the simultaneously coming Jacaranda mauve; sprawling from high above, but utterly worthless junk when it touches the ground.

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Will Uber survive in South Africa?

FeaturedWill Uber survive in South Africa?

So far they are.

By any means necessary it seems.

Regardless of what is happening the other side of the world, that is losing one the biggest license the company will ever ever have (London license) and fighting to get it back, it seems the problems we face here in South Africa are the least of their worries; and we might have to hold on until they done fixing that part of the world.

Drivers I have used in the past weeks following the torching of two Uber cars in Sandton, Johannesburg have been living dangerously. Trying by all means to avoid places where they might just be identified and put to risk. For weeks I have had to put up with thew following:

  • Having to request the service far from the public places where conventional taxis have been using for years prior to Uber entering the market.
  • Having been driven home with a driver carrying a gun in his car (he sounded so happy having one but then again I am not a gun slinger and didn’t bother asking to look it, rather opting to have the ride end safely and without incident).
  • Instead of displaying their cellphones enabled with GPS on their dashboard, they have had to conceal them and ask me for directions to where I am going, which is somewhat annoying and risky, considering the service can be used whilst in a drunken stupor.
  • Having my ride cancelled because I happen to be waiting at an area the driver deemed dangerous for pick up.
  • Not being picked up because I am paying cash (apparently a few cash requests led to a few drivers being attacked in Johannesburg)

Despite Uber’s in-house problems, it is still remains a choice for many in South Africa while their domination in this relatively new playing field is strongly being contested by Taxify and Cabbie.

70% is drivers on Uber are also on Taxify, which means whatever problems the parent company is facing or its popularity in the area, drivers remain undeterred, their main focus solely lying on making a profit.

‘Uber’s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, continues to be keen to be seen to be doing things differently vs the Travis Kalanick era Uber which got bogged down with so many scandals.’ According to Techcrunch.

Uberpop, their brand which Uber uses in Europe for its lowest cost ride-hailing service which connects passengers with private drivers can easily be delayed in South Africa because of not wanting to put un-licensed taxi drivers in danger from the criminal activity and current demise they find themselves in.

While I think it could solve the problem where many have to ride for hours to get to work, the congestion in the roads and ultimately one’s carbon footprint, it is more to do with community acceptance than business sense.

My loyalty to Uber is because, now than ever, I can do more than just catch a ride, UberEats, delivers to your home with a flat fee of 35 rand within the Eastrand,

while Taxify is playing catch-up with the prospect of the former ushering in more services such as self driving cars.

It seems not so far ago, we were totally reliant on meter taxis and their exorbitant pricing but now spoiled for choice.

I am told of a new taxi hauling service called Cabbie, which I haven’t tried out yet because I couldn’t locate it in my app store as easily as the other two (it still has a low rating).

Quantity is certainly not the issue in this game but certainly quality of service. This determined by the pricing, efficacy and at times number of freebies being thrown at me at any particular time.

 

Comparing Uber and Taxify quotes over a small distance in an area, I have discovered some slight differences such as how:

Uber gives you three choices, Uber X, Black and Van, to chose from whilst their competitor only has one. For those that want to ride in style and prefer to be treated as royalty, Uber will win this one.

Taxify has a larger estimate, far more worrying if you have 30 rand in your pocket as it might end up costing 40 rand. If it doesn’t then you save more than Uber which estimates higher but within the same range as their competitor and rarely bills you lower.

To me it looks like the two companies are almost similar depending on their positioning in the market. Taxify is trying hard to get clients and will entice you with a very low estimate of 30 rand (as in this case) whilst the ceiling of their estimate is much higher than the actual estimate from Uber by just two rands. There isn’t much of a difference but I guess in today’s world it counts for something.

All pricing is off course dependent on factors such as traffic, but whatever you chose you are guaranteed to get there safely.

Whether be it on the basis of market experience, service or choices, etc.

Tell us which taxi hauling service you prefer and why, for we would like to know?

FeaturedComing full circle of Zolani Mahola.

Coming full circle of Zolani Mahola.

Many an artist today rarely come full circle. Along their artistic path, there are swayed and persuaded and at times thrown off balance. Being consumed by the limelight in such a way that throws off their initial love with the arts into a downward spiral. They simply forget the reason they became (popular) in the first place.

This ‘secondary’ package (the glitz and the glamour), consumes the head and has veered many off track. As art lovers we experience a loss and consequently the same in the artist’s coffers.

Only a few can be described as coming of age or mature in the music industry, mainly because of the failure to keep the fire that shot them to stardom in the first place, well lit. This constant search for relevance and to be appealing is an art very seldom known to many. A humbling experience it may be, it serves as a reminder of how the arts are constantly evolving and emerging and that the only way you can discover yourself again is to be at the place you started from, in that zone, in that moment.

We have today, many one hit wonders than we have had of fully established entertainers because of the etching of the circle itself, some quickly lose sight. The circle is not to be achieved. A fully fledged artist is not to be.

Zolani Mahola, shot to stardom with her alluring voice, one as such I had never heard before. She placed herself amongst a group of talented artists’ and compositions and backed it up with repeated musical offerings that till today earn a spot within the artistic landscape of the country. Her voice remains one that resembled a fullness every other singer longs for and her persona embodied a true version of ‘my’ African artist, versatile and beaming with prospect of international recognition, a wave she rod quite beautifully for years until she decided to come back to the place where she envisioned herself well before everything we know about her came to be.

In this dog-eat-dog industry, she has remained viable and musically sort after. Her name can easily be carved amongst the greats the country has produced but instead she has not let fame and fortune consume her head but instead use it as draft under her wings, to soar even higher.

One can almost be short of an answer as to what next for such a great career? As times change and the musical landscape transforms itself, remaining viable is a hard job, hence we have many an artist grabbing any ounce of limelight that is thrown to them.

A mother of two, a wife, singer and recently just starred in a theatrical at the Johannesburg Theatre, Calling me Home. It seems she has found her way back home to theatre, her first love with the arts before Freshlyground shot her to super stardom-ship. She envisioned herself being more into theatre but as fate would have it she had to set it aside and focus on becoming a lead singer and song writer.

 “I loved being in the theatre and it is a passion that I had to put aside for the growth of Freshlyground. When I left high school my ambition was to be a theatre-maker, an actress and potentially a director but I ran into singing somewhere along the way. I rode that wave and fifteen years later I came back to me with this production.”

She openly admits that she would love to do more theatre work, despite her first not receiving rave reviews as she would have hoped. Something she knows how to handle from the unforgiving world of music. 

Zolani theatre
Zolani in Coming Home

 Read more on “Coming Home” here

Mahola’s re-discovery is what I think every artist needs to achieve this full circle. While a part of me thinks she never left theatre but was playing varied acts with the same cast in different roles and plays in the music Freshlyground has been making for over fifteen years.

Her performances with the group have been big enough and demanding, unlike any other theatre act ever played on any stage

While Freshlyground is set to realise new material soon as they started recording in December of 2016 with Banana Republic being a single lifted from this upcoming album.

“We started recording fifteen songs in December of 2016 and we are taking our time with crafting those songs. We released Banana Republic on Freedom Day here in South Africa way before we meant to release any of the songs because of the relevance of the song to South Africa’s current socio-political climate..” She said.

The group is not new to protest songs, they realised “Chicken to change” in protest to Zimbabwe’s nonagenarian leader who has led the country for more than 36 years and is about to run for another term in 2018.

“It was a response to the seeming indifference of the ruling powers to the well-being of the South African population. It is a protest song for the modern times… we elected the ruling powers because we felt they would redress the failures of past governments but we have found that largely they want to line their own pockets and are spreading a culture of a profound disrespect for the rule of law. Apartheid so fundamentally undermined the dignity of most of the citizens of our country and much of the time it seems as though the government that we have elected similarly tramples on this fragile dignity. We felt we needed to make these feelings known and put on record: hence the release of the song Banana Republic.” Said Zolani.

Despite the group’s music being banned in Zimbabwe, Zolani does not see herself as an activist but rather a social commentator,

I would not define myself as an activist but I would say that an artist needs to reflect the society they live in.. As an artist I need to comment on the things I see in the world and present this commentary in the best way I know how … for me that is to sing and to act.”

While for many artists, having a husband, two kids and a career usually drags them down, it seems she has done the opposite and has even found the energy to shed a few kilos in the process. All of which has not been easy, she explains, but it has been important enough for her to note that she can achieve even more, if she sets her mind to it.

“…the main reason to shed all that weight was a need to make my physical image conform with the image I had in my head of who I was, of what I looked like when I thought of myself….I do very often times struggle against the idealised notions of beauty that we have bought into in modern society and I have since I was a very young girl. It’s sad… but true.”

Zolani Mahola certainly inspires her fellows, she has remained a true artist despite the burdens of being a woman artist, mother and wife and has added onto her repertoire, a theatrical appearance of equal relevance to her coming of age within the arts industry.

I have followed her music career since the beginning and I would love to own and listen to a solo album from the Waka Waka singer which I have no doubt would be nothing but styled in the manner she has helped shape the music within the group she finds herself in.

With Zolani
Me with Zolani in Harare, Zimbabwe (2005)

Her reuniting with her lost love (theatre) could just be the start of a whole new path for her that could easily lead to her going solo, not that her outfit is in anyway pulling her down, a thought she was reluctant to dwell into but could easily suggest, the thought had crossed her mind.

Listening to ‘Nomvula- After the rain‘ which she co-wrote will tell you a bit about her song writing prowess coupled with an alluring voice such as she packs will definitely make her stand out far more than any other solo artist.

I am almost tempted to explore this line of thought, as I imagine what the world would have been if Beyonce had not braved the cold and discomfort of being a lone crooner. How Michael Jackson would have never become the legend he was if he didn’t step out of the pack, maybe, just maybe, Zolani Mahola could be amongst this group of mega icons.

 

How a pair of panties can make or break an economy.

FeaturedHow a pair of panties can make or break an economy.

I have heard of great politicians who championed great deeds and climbed impossible peaks for the greater good of the people. I have read of stories of warriors and great fighters who defied all odds including death itself to make the world we live in a better place.

But just when I thought I had read and seen it all, a pair of panties potentially put a halt to an economy and its prospects just because they could not find Zodwa Wa Bantu‘s well sort after and un-interested fundament.

It should be a lesson to anyone indifferent, you never know where it takes you.

For the past weeks the Zimbabwean government and her people were torn between accepting Zodwa’s un-apologetic distaste for undies. It boiled down to whether she deserved performing at the just ended Harare International Carnival or not.

Somewhere out there lies a pair of knickers that potentially shaped the future of Zodwa Wa Bantu’s career. This very pair/s is the reason she decided to go without and eventually have her move around freely and to date, make her a valuable commodity racking huge endorsement deals while naked in her bum.

The story made so much headlines and hashtags that it eventually reached my mother and that ladies and gentlemen is when you can fail to answer a simple question, no matter how good you think you can manoeuvre your way out of any odd situation.

I will go on to do a first, ever since Zodwa’s “private affairs” were published and started an online riot that crucified a washed out actress who in her mind thought was doing it for the good of her nation.

I too, do not favour undergarments and their restrictive nature and prefer not to whenever I can. I often move around plainly and the world is so much a free place than when covered and can’t breath. We all could reach a un-explainable height of peace and happiness if we could embrace our free living spirits.

Let’s see if I too can bring down a national event by my confession. (chuckles)

While I failed to see the hoo-ha about her undergarment preferences, especially as the country is knee deep on bigger issues that need all the attention and resources we can get.

I certainly felt ashamed at the level of participation towards an entertainers choice of wardrobe which overtook a worthy cause to revamp and restore the country’s image of failing to respect personal choices and the to some extent the freedom of expression/arts.

And that individuals such as artists, actors and politicians that are supposed to cry for the bread and butter issues of the whole nation are busy hash tagging and starting movements against no-pantie wearing socialites and dancers.

To make matters worse in this horrid display of power and influence was the fact that the line up of artists on the event included members of dance groups whose regalia is almost non existent and whose dances are more close to strip dancing than anything else decent.

For days, the country stood still and waited for ZWB to showcase her signature moves and sexy bod. Hate or like the socialite, she has made a career out of what she believes in. Staying true to it and never quitting (yes I am a fan).

Until all the noise subsided we forgot about the bond notes, the bank queues and twenty dollar offerings. We forgot about everything else that we need sorted and stressed about a pair of panties that do not even exist( I’m guessing Zodwa doens’t even own a pair)

That ladies and gents is the power of Zodwa’s panties, if they exist, that can halt an economy and start an uproar.

 

 

Featured

Grace Mugabe’s assault(ee) in pictures.

Meet Gabriella Engels. She is 20.

Gabriella1
Pic courtesy of her Facebook page.

This is the young lady who has taken two countries into a diplomatic gaffe that will most probably make life a lot harder than it has been already for most Zimbabweans.

I have heard the name in numerous publications and broadcasts and wondered who this unfortunate lady is, who has fallen victim over the first lady’s violent acts and this time through the nasty end of a power chord.

Gabriella Engels
Pic courtesy of her Facebook page

While the story unfolds and with only one side of it available so far, we can only assume that Amai Grace’s silence says it all. With so many versions of the story, one can only assume there is more than what could have transpired in that room on that fateful night than what the eye can see and the ear can hear.

Read more about Grace Mugabe’s history of violence here

Known as Gaby on her social platforms and with very little information on it other than her 19th June birthday, Gabriel could be in a state of ‘anxitement’ as she has become popular overnight whilst still tending to wounds afflicted by the less graceful, Mrs Mugabe.

This could finally be her moment, not that she intended and certainly not that I am for such a behaviour from our leaders, but it could be a turning point into the lives of the two who stand on opposite sides. One could fall, as the hashtag goes, while the other rises to popularity though being on the receiving end of a brutal attack or sadly it could be such a dull ending to a story that has got everyone in South Africa totally flabbergasted after it goes through unending diplomatic talks and negotiations. I say this knowing so well how such cases can be swept under the rug of judicial arm twisting.

Gabriella Engel 2
Gabriella Engels: Courtesy of her Facebook page

There isn’t much to say on such an incident rather than to wish for a speedy and agreeable end to a nightmare that could be potentially disastrous to political ties and Zimbabwean nationalities in South Africa.

All could be lost through the actions of one person who, no matter the provocation could not let God take care of it on her behalf or let her grace and bodyguards handle it on her behalf if reports of her being attacked first are to be taken as truth.

As it is women’s month in South Africa, the public is further disgusted and seeking the full wrath of the law regardless of societal stature. It is however interesting to note that there has never been an arrest of a first lady in any country outside her own in history and with Uncle Bob set to arrive in South Africa to sort out issues, it could be long until this record is broken.

Gabriella Engels (1)
Bandaged and saddened: Gabriella Engels

Listen to Gabriella Engels radio interview here

Messages through her Facebook showed mixed emotions and tones, the two countries will need to use their diplomacy to the fullest to bring calm to this sad fiasco.

Here’s what some of her followers on Facebook had to say:

Jonathan van der Mkhize You’re so pretty just stop mingling with foreigners and good luck on your case (criminal & civil) sue the shit out of disGrace Mugabe, good luck to Gerrie Nel too. Good luck future millionaire (in Rands 😉

Channon Merricks #GraceMugabe had every right to use an extention cord and light to assualt someone ….. however she failed as a mother to discipline her children ….. she failed as a parent to leave her boys in a hotel whilst they are students without proper supervision …. she failed as first lady of Zimbabwe to ensure there is better universities in her country than in another country …. she failed to assault her boys as she had every right to assualt them ….. so assaulting someone else child because you failed as a parent means you are angry at the wrong person …. as a first lady you should lead the no violence against women but you are now accused of violence against a women in another country …..Now running away from police show you are guilty and failling again as a first lady and mother, to account for your actions, your boys will also run away from facing the consequences of there own ill discipline in future ..Boys learn from their mothers..To the victim, be strong and fight the good fight

And then there was a reply:

Heine TheRoyal Tutor Wittgenstein You talk rather too much for someone who constructs sentences no better than a 12 year old. Was the mother wrong to protect her children from a predatory woman with potential STD’s? I don’t think so. Maybe her methods were not ideal. But this rhetoric that she was trying to murder this non-woman is just absurd. People would go to such lengths to push this narrative of violence against women. If women are so sick of violence – maybe they should stop playing victim and stop dating men. Everybody wins!

A war is brewing. May God save the children.

Did Jay Z just pour out his heart!

FeaturedDid Jay Z just pour out his heart!

jay z 4-44My music listening is inspired by one simple thing: Greatness!

I don’t waste time on a bull’s faeces, I simply delete and move on, I simply don’t have to listen to ExQ (I’m supposed to link his name to his wikipedia but he doesn’t have one). I have come to understand how valuable the Megabytes in my phone or laptop are (until #datamustfall is in full effect) enough not to have them wasted on artists with a very low IQ in lyric building and telling a story. That said I still listen to Fally Ipupa, even though I have no idea of what he is singing about, his presentation instrumentally and visually appeals to me.

It’s Jay Z’s 13th album, who wouldn’t want to listen to it after like a four year sabbatical, hate him or love him, we can never run away from the fact that this is the same guy who has somehow shaped the look of Hip Hop as it is today. He has become a household name with more than music understanding but also business mind and a father to many artists to date.

As usual I go in with a strong expectation. I try not to listen to wannabe music critics and listen with a fresh ear. In the end we can only deduce real music without someone yelling ‘that is my song’ in the club. We can only call one a great artist buy the music and not the lifestyle he lives or the woman he married but by simply what he creates in the studio, enough to make sense and impart wisdom and happiness in the lives of many. Sean Carter seems to leave it all out on a record, especially with 4:44, after having faced media scrutiny over his love life. I guess we all needed his own version of the story, much reason as to why the album went platinum in a week.

Jay Z has faced many wars, its not easy to be declared ignoramus to common religion and still continue to live life the way we are given everyday. I might be a bad judge of character, but that’s a sin I am willing to die with coz it’s not for me to put anyone under any criteria.

I have struggled, daily to convince my colleagues that no matter how one seems to show it and portray it in his songs, we can only deduce if it comes from his mouth when he confesses and confessions are for God on the day of judgement. Let the man be and judge him because of what he does and sings about, it seems it is still the same old musician we have loved who continues to make great music for the masses. I am a fan of that.

I’ve stopped listening to beautiful girl songs, how many have been made? We cant only be dancing to songs that celebrate beauty of a woman or how rich you claim to be, this is simply just not good enough.

Imagine a newspaper that only writes about one thing only, with not even a change of angle! Thats how ExQ sounds right now, he simply has just lost any imagination in what to write about women now, he just keeps it very pathetic and you still have people listening and dancing to it.

I want to listen to a song that I can google to, if it’s worth googling and researching it’s adding value to my life.

Simply put I am not a hater, no hatred for someone’s else’s efforts. Same way we don’t support Zimbabwe Saints but Dynamos is the same way my ears close up when anything other than good comes on the radio. I did a show once on radio, the major reason why I never was revered among the many local musicians was the fact that I never tolerated lyrically poor musicians. I loathed making up ‘love this song’ in my shows and threw away anything other than beautiful. The majority of radio Dj’s in the country right now have no love for the music scene other than fill up their pockets with kick back money.  Producers and Presenters share the freebies while we die with frustrations at the end of a broadcast.

Before I even convince you that Jay Z’s album is a five star offering, listen to it here for yourself and share your comments at the bottom, regardless of what I say next.

I often struggle with content to listen to, as I said, I delete a lot. The reason why we all loved Bob Marley and Michael Jackson regardless of how they lived their lives was because their music said something to us that we could relate to at the time even up to now. Oliver Mtukudzi continues to be the pinnacle example of great musicianship in Zimbabwe because of one thing alone, content and yet its sad to have Rocki, Exq and Maskiri in a conversation with friends of musicians from your country.

One wonders why the country seems to have harvested mediocre lyricists when there were born from the likes of Bundu Boys, James Chimombe, Oliver and Chiwoniso Maraire. What happened to writing something that lasts the ages and nothing that lasts the night out and can only be remembered when you get high again.

I have mastered the art of deducing if your song will go anywhere other than your paid rotation on radio by the first minute it plays. If you don’t chose the first statement on your song with great care, be careful to lose me within that entrance. A lot of people will agree with me but then again, I don’t depend on them, music is supposed to be something other than a sum of instruments and a voice behind the mic.

It is much more than that and if you don’t understand what I am trying to say but can listen to Plaxedes Wenyika without picking up some off notes, then this article is not for you.

By the way I am here for Jay Z, forgive me, I get so carried away by the death of music in my country.

In a few words, Jay Z’s album 4:44 exudes maturity and wit no other rapper in the genre has managed to portray. He brings the simple Rhythm and Poetry that Common, Nas, Biggie and Tupac always put in every single they made. You are bound to pick more than one points of discussion in his album than you are in any of my fore-mentioned mediocrity.

Though till now I don’t know what 4:44 means, we will keep gathering all speculations and come up with a concrete meaning when we get a chance to speak with HOV in person. In the mean time enjoy.

To find out what Jay Z is singing about in every song on this album, check out this website.

A praise singer is not the praised!

It seems we have since forgotten how it all works. A praise singer,extols the virtues of his leader or chosen one and/for a common cause and barely gets the praise himself.  Sadly thats the way it goes and it ends there.

I should go on and give a disclaimer beforehand: 

In this piece, I will not pretend to know how politics in Zimbabwe works, I will instead leave that to the political commentators and concetrate on the simple understandings of a praise singer, to whom this article is cultivated from and what I believe the so called ‘committee’ that sits to decide whether actions of the liberation struggle results in a well paved grave of mable or not.

The past week the country could not believe when the biggest pro-liberation struggle lead singer and veteran died and was declared not a National War Hero despite having had sang his heart out for the majority of all leaders present and gone. It could have been an outright highest hero status if the majority of the country were in the selection committee.

I was quickly taken aback, when one such gallant son and crooner, Simon Chimbetu, was also snubbed of such a prestigious status and laid to rest in a grass infested cemetry of the Chinhoyi Heroes Acre.  

Quickly it made me realise that the two, who worked tirelessly to remind the entire nation in tunes and powerfu lyrics that still remain imprinted in our minds to date, were merely viewed as praise singers. Working tirelessly to propagate an understanding through song and dance whilst they themselves falling out of favour from the very same system they helped build.

Objectively, it could be argued that the two crooners did not put themselves in the line of fire enough to be bestowed the highest hero status in the land but instead chose to entertain mostly. They helped pen a number of songs that attacked the colonialists and instilled brevity amongst others whilst they were far from the heat of the battle and the occassional need to show acts pf heroism, a position lowly ranked within the army.

 Could it be that Cde Chinx was a guerilla soldier and a popular singer that makes many believe he deserved to buried at the national shrine? They could have been many that could have sang the same songs as he did but were not as prominent, do they too deserve the highest hero status of the land. 

In what way was he instrumental in the direct change of the political environement in the then colonial era? Did his music directly affect a change in the way the British handled affairs in the country? Was he a fighter first then singer or vice-versa? These are the answers that needed to be answered to reach a certain conclusion.

I am not against the man, neither am I pro-‘the present government’ but I want to look at the spade before me and be able to call it what it is. Equating the fallen hero and the many other pivotal members of the country who went beyond their limits to deliver the promise of freedom and life as what we have it now can be debatable from what angle you look at it but it doesnt have to be hard to call one a National hero.

Though it looked promised unto him, as he was much loved by the nation, it should remind us how undesirable his position should be to anyone hoping to have a thriving political career. It seems the major contributors of the liberation struggle where the masterinds of the next attack and seizures and not the musician that calmed the hearts of the weary and frightened after a long day’s battle.

His dance and voice that shattered all fear and encouraged the many to enlist is now simply forgotten when the deed has been done and the houses of the masters invaded.

He did not receieve the recognition that many would have gladly given him but he will forever be remembered as a pivotal role in convincing and reviving the weary hearts and minds against the struggle against colonialism. 

His music shall live on in