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Thomas Mapfumo is homesick

by Staff reporter
09 Jul 2017 at 13:50hrs | Views
Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo, who has not set foot in Zimbabwe for over a decade, says he is homesick.

Mukanya, as the music legend is widely known by his fans, is based in Oregon in the United States of America where he has lived in exile since 2004.

On the occasion of this 72nd birthday this past week, Mapfumo conceded that living away from Zimbabwe was making him feel so "disconnected."

"It's not a good situation for me; it's actually sad that I am far away from home. This situation is very unhealthy for me. I am homesick; everyday my mind is in Zimbabwe," Mapfumo told the Daily News on Sunday.

The Mamvemve hit-maker added that he missed his music fans and friends.

"I am disconnected because I haven't seen most of my friends for many years and some have passed away.

"I don't even know how Harare looks like now. I can only imagine, even though I am constantly following the events happening at home through the media and through some people close to me but it is still not enough," he said.

Though the veteran music star clearly misses home, he does not see himself returning to Zimbabwe anytime soon.

"I am always thinking of coming home but I will remain stuck in foreign lands unless the situation changes.  I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon unless there is a change. Even if I would like to come back it seems I am regarded as an enemy of the State.

"If the situation changes for the better, I will pack my bags and catch the earliest flight to come and perform in Zimbabwe," Mukanya said.

Asked what his biggest regret was on the occasion of his 72nd birthday, Mukanya singled out his life in exile.

"The biggest regret is that I am not a free man. I am not living in Zimbabwe. It's a pity that we fought for the liberation of this county yet we only achieved dictatorship and oppression. I miss freedom; I miss home and I miss my fans," the Chimurenga music star said.

Mapfumo is convinced that the situation in Zimbabwe will only change for the better if a new government is voted into power in next year's general elections.

"The people have to make sure that they change the current government. If they keep supporting the wrong horse they will be inviting more suffering.

"The current government is corrupt and has done little to transform the lives of the poor majority. We need to elect the right people to govern the country. We need young people to run the country if Zimbabwe is to work again and not this corrupt lot of old people," he said.

To compensate for the fact that he will not be performing in Zimbabwe soon, Mukanya has promised to deliver a new album soon.

"We are currently in the studio and about to finish recording a new album. We had hoped to release it in April on Independence Day but we had to delay because of some logistical challenges.

"This (forthcoming) album is unique because it has different types of music. It has something for the western audiences too but it's mainly talking about the struggles of the poor in Zimbabwe," the Chimurenga music guru said.

According to Mukanya, the new album will include a song which seeks to exhort Zimbabweans to stand up for their rights.

"Part of the song goes: Chauya chauya varume muZimbabwe kusiri kufa ndekupi? Vanhu vashupika mu Zimbabwe yangova bata wabata," he told the Daily News on Sunday.

Although he has been away from Zimbabwe since 2004, Mukanya said he has tried his best to keep in touch with the Zimbabwean music scene.

"Well, I do appreciate some young musicians who are trying to play our original Zimbabwean sound though I cannot name anyone specifically because they are quite many.

"I also respect that group of old musicians like Oliver Mtukudzi and of late Alick Macheso as they have tried to promote our Zimbabwean music but nobody is supporting them," the Nyoka Musango singer said.

The veteran musician, however, criticised Zimdancehall artistes for promoting vulgar lyrics and violence.

"I have also been following some young musicians who are playing Zimdancehall, which is an imitation of Jamaican music.

"It worries me a lot because this type of music is not promoting our culture and good morals instead it is spreading vulgar lyrics and promoting violence, which is not good," said Mukanya.


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