It may not be a typical page turner or a creative masterpiece, but “Flashback Identity” definitely is a stroke of genius in immortalising culture.
This is one of the best books to come out of the year, chronicling different local cultures, their origins, development and even commercialisation.
It touches well on religion, its importance in both the pre and post-colonial eras, discussing the relevance of African traditional religion in today’s society.
“Flashback Identity” manages to discuss the different traditional dances including Jerusarema Mbende, Muchongoyo, Mhande, Shangara, Dinhe, and Mbakumba, well narrating their origins, the different Shona dialects that mostly practice them and their significance.
The book is well researched and is well deserving to be part of the education curriculum in both conventional and art schools.
In narrating his family history, Sweden-based musician cum writer and cultural activist Makandire Chezhira Chikutu a.k.a ManLuckerz the author of “Flashback Identity” manages to, not only immortalise himself and the local culture, but also musicians who came before him.
It’s sad that celebrated musicians do not usually publish their biographies, except for a few like Clive Mono Mukundu.
The book was a step in the right direction that even if the late Oliver Mtukudzi, Andy Brown and Mbira music legend Thomas Mapfumo have no biographies to their names, their interaction with the musician are well documented.
“Flashback Identity” also serves as a reminder to musicians and art practitioners still living that they need to document their lives for the benefit of those who come after them.
Some musical icons died this year leaving deep cuts in many hearts of those that followed them, but now that they are gone, no one will really understand their lives.
Even when journalists write so much about practicing artistes, it is the artistes who can go a long way in clearing the air on some contested issues.
Artistes should be encouraged to adopt a culture of documenting their lives and career experiences so as to preserve their heritage.
ManLuckerz deserves an applause for leading the way.