Monday, 23 April 2018


The king of Chimurenga music, Dr Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo yesterday said former President Robert Mugabe was behind his persecution, adding that he would not have returned to Zimbabwe if his administration was still in power.

Mapfumo paid a quiet visit to his in-laws in Mzilikazi suburb in Bulawayo to express his condolences following the death of his mother-in-law last month.

He was accompanied by his wife, Verna (nee Dangarembga), children and his publicist, Blessing Vava.

The family’s first stop was along Fife Street opposite the large Large City Hall where they bought wreaths to take to Athlone Cemetery.

The Lion of Zimbabwe, as Mapfumo is affectionately known, said he greatly missed home, especially his friends and relatives.

“I missed my relatives and friends greatly. I missed them a lot. As you know it’s been long since I was last here. I spent many years away. We couldn’t come back because of the previous administration. It was difficult for us,” he said.

Mapfumo was accused way back in 2001 of buying stolen luxurious BMW cars from then fugitive car dealer, George Sibanda. The legendary musician dismissed the allegations as a guise to get at him for his hard hitting lyrics in his political songs.

He blamed former President, Mugabe, for being the architect of his persecution.
“I was accused of crimes that I did not commit because of my candidness. I was speaking the truth but most people did not want to hear the truth. Those who want to develop the country should listen to the truth. If you listen to lies, it’s not good. We only came back home after the removal from office of this old man (President Mugabe). If he was still in office we wouldn’t be here,” he said.

Dr Mapfumo said he also missed his favourite dish of sadza/isitshwala and beef stew. His missing home is aptly captured in one of the hits, Ndangariro, that he churned in the years he shifted base to the USA.

“I missed sadza a lot, you know sadza shapes us as a people. Our beef tastes so good because its organic food unlike the stuff we eat in the USA. In America they mostly eat junk food. Even my kids were missing home greatly. They are so happy. One of them is now 21 years old. She was only two years when we left Zimbabwe, hence she cannot speak Shona. She can understand the language though. But it should not be like that, a child of our clan failing to speak our language,” he said.

Mapfumo promised fireworks at his show scheduled for Glamis Arena in Harare on Saturday.
He said he will play his golden oldies as well as his latest works to cater for fans of all ages. Fans will get time to sample Mukanya’s forthcoming 10-track album Chauya chauya.
The Chimurenga music guru expressed regret that he won’t be able to play for his fans in other cities due to time constraints.

He, however, assured fans that he will make amends in his next trips as it was now easy for him to visit the country regularly after President Emmerson Mnangagwa came into office.
Chimurenga music, Mapfumo said, will live forever. Chronicle


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