Opinion / Columnist
Thomas Mapfumo has missed a point
17 Apr 2015 at 09:37hrs | Views
It is surprising and astounding for someone like Thomas Mapfumo, who has spent more than a decade in self-imposed exile to talk from a seemingly informed position of what is happening in the country. For Mapfumo to tell the nation that the independence celebrations of the country are meaningless just because the economy is not performing beyond expectations shows that he has lost touch with the reality in the country.
Thomas Mapfumo, a by-gone-era Zimbabwean musician, in the United States of America (USA) was quoted by the Newsday on 16 April 2015, as saying that the 35th Independence celebrations on Saturday are nothing but a farce under the current biting socio-economic hardships bedevilling Zimbabwe. He was further reported to have urged the ZANU PF government to stop being selfish and practice responsible leadership to rescue the country from further sliding into total economic collapse.
While everyone has a right to give comments on what is happening in the country concerning the economic performance of Zimbabwe but for someone who abandoned his kith and kin to come up with such statements denigrating the independence of the country is uncalled for. Mapfumo should appreciate that the economic demise of the country has nothing to do with the maladministration of ZANU PF government but it was the work of the western countries which imposed illegal sanctions who should shoulder all the blame.
Thomas Mapfumo should be aware that the country has been struggling to export its products to outside the country for the benefit of the economy because a lot of such business deals were blocked by the USA, the very country which has offered him refuge. In actual fact Mapfumo should be pleading with the USA government so that sanctions which she imposed on the country for over a decade be removed. Mapfumo should realize that his self-imposed exile has not given him the green light to lie to the world on the Zimbabwean situation when he is not aware of what is really taking place.
Zimbabweans in the country and the patriotic ones outside the country value their independence as they are aware of why it is celebrated year after year. People still value independence because it is the time when people come together to remember the fallen sons and daughters of the country. So Mapfumo's utterances that the day should be left to pass like any other day on the calendar shows that the McDonalds he is having in US has given him temporary amnesia to forget the bloody war which led to this cherished independence. He should realize that Zimbabwean independence did not come on silver platter but many Zimbabweans sacrificed their lives for it. Mapfumo should not forget that the unfortunate Zimbabwean economic situation which is not performing beyond everyone's expectations does not mean that the independence day should cease to exist.
Mapfumo should blame himself for coming up with that misguided idea of leaving the country at a time when others were musically developing in the country. He should blame himself for not having a vision of what music can bring to him and his family. Those in contact with him should make him know that Oliver Mutukudzi whom he left behind is now a renowned musician in the region and globally.
For a record, Mapfumo should be informed that his musical peer Mutukudzi now boosts of Pakare Paye Arts Centre which is a noble initiatives by this Zimbabwe's iconic musician. The centre which was opened in 2004 is located in the small and serene town of Norton about 45 kilometres from the capital city along the Harare- Bulawayo highway. Since its establishment, it has come to be synonymous with arts development, nurturing of talent and career development. It also comprises of restaurants, lodges, offices, as well as an open-air stage giving back rewards to Mutukudzi's milestone development through his musical career.
The Pakare Paye Arts Centre's open air stage where other well-known artists like Alick Macheso, the late Tongai Moyo, Kapfupi and Fungisai Zvakavapano, as well as international artists of the likes of Ringo Madlingozi have performed, takes in 3 000 people. By that standards Mutukudzi is making ends meet without spoiling his musical career by issuing political statements to the nation. In actual fact Mapfumo should concentrate more on his musical career and let politicians do what they know best politically while doing what he knows best musically.
So those in contact with Mapfumo should tell him that while he is making noise whilst holed up in the USA, his counterpart Mutukudzi is doing a marvelous work here. Mapfumo should stop trivializing the importance of independence in the country which was brought by the blood of the fallen daughters and sons of Zimbabwe but he should take this opportunity to remember those who sacrificed their lives for the independence to be there.
Zimbabwe's fortunes can only get better from this point, lest all the pessimistic like Mapfumo are made to eat their words.
Source - John Mukumbo
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.