HARARE – Despite being based in far-flung Oregon in the United States of America (USA), Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo can still feel the turmoil being created by Zimbabwe’s political elite.
The veteran musician has released a single titled Hatidi Politics which aptly describes Zimbabwe’s political drama the highlights of which have been the purges of former vice president Joice Mujuru and 16 ministers by Zanu PF as well as upheavals in the mainstream MDC that saw former secretary-general Tendai Biti quitting.
The song, which will be part of Mapfumo’s forthcoming album titled Danger Zone expected to be released on January 31 next year, attacks Zimbabwean politicians for expending their energy on intra-party and inter-party conflict at the expense of development.
Hatidi Politics goes on further to attack the ruling elite for making false promises and for failing to provide basic services to the people.
Some of lyrics of the song, which can be downloaded for free on www.thomas-mapfumo.com, goes:
Mitauro chete (You make false promises)
Kutukana chete (You spend your time quarrelling)
Pasina zvafamba (There is no development)
Vanhu vachingochema (The people are suffering)
Vanoda rufaro (The people want happiness)
Vanoda rugare, Upenyu hwakanaka (Zimbabweans want a high standard of life)
Havadi politics (They are not interested in politics)
Matadza here varume (Have you failed?)
Mapererwa here (Are you out of ideas)
Mavengwa nevanhu (People now hate you)
Mavengerwei (Why do they hate you?)
Hapana rufaro hapana rugare hapana chakanaka Dzingori politics (They hate you because they are suffering yet you waste your time on politics at the expense of development.)
According to Mapfumo’s publicist, Blessing Vava, Hatidi Politics is a firm declaration that Zimbabweans and those around the world want a good life — schools, healthcare, security — not to participate in the power games of politicians.
Mapfumo’s poignant new lament calls on his countrymen to “leave politics behind and unify” for a better future.”
Vava added that the music legend’s first album since 2010 offers “a wide ranging set of new songs with messages to suit a new set of circumstances.”
“Since the beginning of his epic career, Mapfumo has stood for the rights and concerns of ordinary people facing oppression and poverty.
The historical context has changed, but Mapfumo’s loyalties and focus have not.
Nhamo Urombo offers a poignant recapitulation of his central theme on Danger Zone, while Chikwereti broadens the scope with a pointed message to African nations who accept financial help from foreign countries, notably China: It’s not a gift. One way or another, you will have to pay them back.
The title track Danger Zone is a survey of the world’s hot spots — Syria, Iraq, Libya. But it comes from a philosophical perspective, asking how it is that God’s children seem incapable of living in peace.”
Other songs on the imminent album are Varimudande and “Pasi idandaro which carry a dominant mbira beat, two English language songs, Celebrate and Are You Ready as well as Music and a remix of Shabeen that features guest vocals by Natalia Rollins.