Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo: I’m coming home


Chimurenga music legend Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo is confident he will finally end his decade-long absence from his homeland.

The United States of America-based music star made the promise in his wide-ranging end-of-year statement for 2015 released on New Year’s Eve.

“We are working with some local promoters who are eager to have us perform in Zimbabwe in 2016 and we will be announcing the dates once everything has been finalised,” said Mapfumo.

Mukanya, however, conceded that he has failed keep promises made to Zimbabwean music fans in the past.

“It is saddening that once again I have let the people of Zimbabwe down after making countless promises to perform in my country of birth.

“Our failure to perform in Zimbabwe was due to some technicalities beyond our control and we are working flat out to make the Zimbabwe Welcome Back Shows a reality,” he said.

Despite his long-awaited homecoming concert failing to materialise last year, Mukanya expressed gratitude to authorities in Mozambique and South Africa for inviting him to perform in their countries.

We are grateful to the Government of Mozambique for inviting my group and I to perform at their Defence Forces Day, a befitting honour in my musical career.

“The same also goes to the Provincial Government of Limpopo, South Africa for inviting us to participate at the Mapungubwe Arts Festival where I shared the stage with old friends like Hugh Masekela and other youngsters like Joe Thomas,” he said.

The 70-year-old music guru also promised that he would continue to use music to unite the people of Zimbabwe and the world at large to live in peace as well as to fight oppression, subjugation and undemocratic practices.

“We started this music during the liberation struggle as we fought white domination and oppression, and have continued over the years fighting for the people through music.

I released my 50th album DangerZone in February this year, an album articulating the struggles of the poor, calling for unity and an end to war that is threatening to end global existence.

It is the realisation that music is a powerful tool in society and us as musicians will continue using tools at our disposal to spread the message of love and unity in the societies we live in,” said the Mamvemve singer.

As he has done in the past, Mukanya hit out at the government for failing to alleviate the plight of the working class people of Zimbabwe who are working hard every day but not getting their salaries on time.

“This year, we also saw our economy shedding jobs, houses destroyed, levels of inequality continuing to rise and more people getting afflicted by the deepening poverty.

“The government should prioritise the plight of the workers and the poor people of Zimbabwe who are bearing the brunt due to poor governance and bad policies.

“The people voted you into power to improve their lives not to suppress them or destroy their houses.

“This is not what we fought for. So I strongly urge politicians and those in the corridors of power to stop this politicking and prioritise the wishes of the people.

“Zimbabweans are suffering and looking up to you for answers and solutions therefore you must change your ways, leadership is about the people and not your selfish interests. Zimbabwe is not your personal property, inyika yevanhu,” he said.

The music legend also hit out at piracy ravaging the local music industry.

“The album DangerZone was, however, hit by piracy, and as a result we did not get anything from the sales of that album.

“As musicians, we continue bearing the burden of production costs while others are just reaping where they did not sow.

“We will continue calling on the responsible authorities to help us fight piracy so that we also realise our worth.

“In other countries, there are stiffer laws against piracy and us as a nation should also embrace such laws to make sure that we protect our musicians to continue entertaining the nation. Let’s declare war against piracy in 2016. It needs the support of government and law enforcement agents,” he said.

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