Seven years after Thomas Mapfumo claimed that music would not stand the test of time as only his friends and relatives would buy it, high flying dancehall artiste Winky D has seemingly buried the hatchet and has nothing but respect for the Godfather of Chimurenga Music.
Although he now has the Zimbabwean music industry by the scruff of the neck, there was a time when the Kambuzuma-born chanter had his naysayers who believed that he would fall to the wayside as the years ticked by.
One of Winky D’s harshest critics was Mukanya, who claimed that the chanter was making a healthy contribution to the slow demise of Zimbabwean music.
“I listen a lot to what the likes of Winky D are singing and my heart bleeds. People like Winky D are destroying Zimbabwean music. What he sings is not our music. He can enjoy the success now but that kind of music does not last. “Tuku and I would not have made it musically if we had sung stuff like that. Only Winky D’s friends and relatives will buy that kind of music. “He must be original to survive in music,” Mukanya was quoted as saying in an interview.
Never one to hold back, Winky D had fired a volley at the music legend, saying that he needed to face up to the reality that music had changed. According to media reports at the time, he also said that Mukanya’s brilliance had been eclipsed by his rival, Oliver Mtukudzi in a diss song titled Tsamba Yangu kuvashakabvu.
“He is an elder and we apologise that he cannot understand our type of music. “We are basically trying to articulate our voice in the context of our value systems,” Winky said through his manager Jonathan Banda at the time.
In an interview with Sunday Life, Banda said they had no quarrel with Mapfumo, as the alleged feud was a storm in a teacup sparked by mischievous reporters.
“Basically I felt that there were people that were trying to brew something. I felt like reporters were trying to steer something in a certain direction.
“We’re trying to spread the same message that he does. Our message and his are very similar in that we’re talking about the suffering of ghetto youths. Just like him, we also aspire freedom, something that he has sang a lot about. We want to see the improvement the socio-economic standing of the ghetto youth,” he said.
With Winky performing at Mukanya’s homecoming, Banda said there had not been any attempt to try and iron out any differences between the two camps.
“There has been no personal contact between both camps. It has never reached that level and there have been no clashes. I can’t say there were any harsh words exchanged which was why we had no qualms about accepting the offer to perform at the gig when the promoter asked us. If there was an axe to grind who wouldn’t have accepted the offer,” he said.
Banda added they acknowledged and respected Mukanya’s contributions to the Zimbabwean music scene, as it had paved the way for Winky to also do what he does.
“He was very inspirational during the colonial era. His music was as important to that generation as ours is to the post independence generation. He’s a father figure is music and when it comes to ubuntu you’re supposed to respect an older person which he is. That’s what culture dictates and for that reason we respect him immensely,” he said.