Musician Jah Prayzah, born Mukudzei Mukombe, has been sucked into Zanu PF’s deadly fights to succeed President Robert Mugabe with music fans and critics saying his latest album Mudhara Vachauya was produced to prop-up embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his battle to succeed the 92-year-old leader.
Lyrics from the lanky musician’s latest offering praise an ultimate father figure — of the Lion totem — who is expected to change economic fortunes of the underprivileged in society.
Zimbabwe’s economy has virtually collapsed due to the high unemployment rate, power shortages, massive company closures and a serious cash crisis that has sparked a wave of anti-Mugabe protests across the country.
This has resulted in social commentators linking Jah Prayzah’s song to Mnangagwa, who is of the Shumba totem and is seen as heir-apparent to the throne following the axing of former vice president Joice Mujuru.
The Midlands godfather, who is believed to have strong military links, is alleged to be leading a faction known as Team Lacoste that is angling to succeed Mugabe but has had spanners thrown into his path to State House by another Zanu PF faction headed by young Turks going by the moniker Generation 40 (G40).
However, Jah Prayzah who ironically is the brand ambassador of the Zimbabwe National Army — whose boss General Constantino Chiwenga is believed to be backing Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions — dismissed suggestions that the song was pregnant with undertones of succession politics in Zanu PF.
There is nothing political about that song. It is clear that it is a love song in which a husband is telling his wife that she should shun other men who ask her out when he is away by telling them that “mudhara vachauya,” Jah Prayzah told the Daily News when contacted for comment.
The Tsviriyo hit-maker said those who are drawing political links to his song should wait until he produces a video.
“The video that has political connotations was not produced by me. Mine is on its way and it will answer all the questions being raised. I am not a politician and will never be one in my life so I don’t sing for them (politicians). I sing to entertain my fans,” he insisted.
Loosely translated, the title of Jah Prayzah’s song means “the old man in coming”, although the word “mudhara” is street lingo used to refer to a generally superior and powerful person.
But in this case, some fans believe that the title and the lyrics that say “mudhara wacho ishumba inoruma” (the superior and powerful man is a lion that bites) is the artist’s way of telling the nation that Mnangagwa will soon upstage G40 rivals to replace Mugabe.
The musician’s fans have gone on to mischievously produce a video in which Mnangagwa is seen with his wife Auxillia immaculately dressed and inspecting a military guard of honour — presidential style.
There has always been a connection between music and politics, particularly political expression in song since time immemorial.
But while music influences political movements, it is not often clear to the musician how or to what extent general audiences relate to their songs on the political level