By Moses Mugugunyeki and Kennedy Nyavaya
Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo’s company Chimurenga Music Company has confirmed that the musician, popularly known as Mukanya, was heading to Zimbabwe in April.
Mapfumo has been holed in Oregon in the United States since 2004, alleging intimidation and persecution by the Robert Mugabe regime. If he makes the trip, he joins scores of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora who are returning home from the Diaspora. The new government of Zimbabwe is calling on citizens in foreign lands to come back home and exploit opportunities presented by the new dispensation.
The musician’s spokesperson Blessing Vava, who also doubles as Chimurenga Music Company spokesperson, yesterday confirmed to The Standard Style that the 72-year-old crooner was coming back to Zimbabwe.
“It’s confirmed. End of April, Mudhara [Mapfumo] will perform in Harare. The contract has been signed and all the parties have agreed,” said Vava.
“Mudhara and the rest of the band [The Blacks Unlimited] will be touching Zimbabwe in April, just a few days before the bira. It’s now a reality that Mukanya will be reconnecting with his fans after more than a decade away.”
Vava said Mukanya was excited about this historic return and promised a memorable show.
Meanwhile, government has given a thumbs up to Mapfumo’s welcome gig and assured him of a safe return.
Responding to a question posed by The Standard Style on the sidelines of an arts stakeholders’ engagement forum on Wednesday, Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation Kazembe Kazembe said Mapfumo was free to come back into the country to help rebuild it.
“This is a new dispensation and if you listen to the words of the president, he said Zimbabwe belongs to every citizen of the country and this new era has opened the doors for everyone to come and develop the country,” said Kazembe.