Chimurenga music star Thomas Mukanya Mapfumo is in the country after spending 14 years in the United States. On Saturday Mukanya will perform at Glamis Arena in Harare at a show dubbed Mukanya Homecoming Gig.
The Standard Style’s reporter Tapiwa Zivira (TZ) on Friday caught up with Mukanya (TM), who spoke about the “new” government, his life in the US and a number of issues.
Below are excerpts from the interview.
TZ: Mukanya, you are back home after 14 years, what is the feeling that you have and what changes have you seen?
TM: It is really a good feeling to be home, a good feeling to be meeting old friends, the rest of my family and everybody else. Yes, of course, there have been many changes, many of which I must say are quite a disappointment as the country has really deteriorated.
TZ: In your absence, you have kept on singing about the suffering of Zimbabweans under Robert Mugabe, now that he is gone and you have managed to come back home, has anything changed
TM: I think the message is in the music itself; Things have not changed. We are still struggling, as you know, the economy is in shambles, it is not viable, so we have to keep on fighting, we cannot stop.
TZ: If you were to give advice to government, what would it be?
TM: They should do away with corruption, because I think that is the main cause of our problems. If they can do away with corruption, I think we can start moving forward as a country. Right now, you see the banks have no money, but that does not mean that Zimbabwe has no money; it is here in the houses of certain individuals. They are hiding millions, so we have to stop that, we really have to genuinely fight corruption. The problem that we are having as a whole is that Africa is not united. If Africa was one, there was not going to be corruption. we are the richest continent, but that cannot be fully realised because our leaders are corrupt.
TZ: What influence do you think your presence here should have, and how do you intend to fill the void that has been there due to your absence?
TM: The good thing is that we are here alive, and we would like to meet those in power, talk to them, whoever they are. We will tell them that we are out there in a different world, where there is unity, and tell them that we should come together, work as one.
TZ: But you are going back to the States after the show?
TM: Yes, I have some things to do there, and there are a lot of things that I want to accomplish there.
TZ: Any chance of you coming back to settle back here permanently?
TM: Yes, yes, home is best, that is where my heart is, and I will always come back to my home.
TZ: Any chance of you doing collaborations with other musicians while you are here?
TM: Yes, I am open to doing collaborations with other musicians, anybody. On the song with Sulu, I am going to talk to him and we will see what we can do. His father was my good friend. I also did a collaboration with Rati Dangarembga in the US. She did her own version of Corruption, and when I listened to it, it was very good, so she asked to also have my input into it.
TZ: Any future projects?
TM: Yes, I have done a lot of songs, and some collaborations and I will be releasing them as time goes.
TZ: On April 28, what should your fans expect?
TM: They should expect a great show. You see all the youngsters that I will be performing alongside and this is a historic show, so we will not disappoint.