Musician or Politician?: Winky D’s gig causes uproar


Winky D’s concert fuels political debate: Musician accused of hosting a political rally

Renowned dancehall artist Wallace Chirumiko, popularly known as Winky D, has found himself at the center of a heated controversy following his recent concert at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on December 31, 2023.

Social media platforms have been set ablaze with discussions as fans and critics alike claim that the show was not simply a musical event but rather a political rally. The concert, named Ghettocracy Score, marked Winky D’s two-decade milestone in the music industry.

Zanu PF patriots took to online platform X to express their views, stating, “Winky D is a politician!! This event (HICC show) was a political rally. We have no problem with Winky D the musician. This event (HICC show) was a political rally and not a music show.”

When approached for comment by NewsDay, Zanu PF Information Director Farai Marapira suggested that Winky D was misusing his artistic platform to attack the government. Marapira expressed disappointment, saying, “It is unfortunate that Winky D, an artiste relevant (sic) because of a decided Zanu PF policy in the early 2000s to uplift local art has taken the same gift handed to him to attack the benevolent hand.”

Marapira further emphasized that while freedom of speech is valued, Winky D’s decision to delve into political matters during his musical performances allowed others to comment on his actions. He also hinted that Winky D’s foray into politics could be an attempt to regain attention and boost his declining musical career. Nevertheless, he assured that Zanu PF, as a political party, would respond to such actions within the boundaries of the law.

“As Zanu PF we promote and appreciate freedom of speech as it is a tenet we went to war for. However, as one exercises their right they must also appreciate that others will exercise their right to comment on the same, that being said Winky D used a musical platform once again as we now note he does at every album release to delve into political matters.

“As a political party we have a right to assess his actions and respond politically also, of course as always within the tenets of the law. Let it be also known that as his musical star wanes he has decided to delve into politics to hopefully get attention and more views on his ailing musical career. A mammoth party like Zanu PF is not really bothered by a miniscule actor such as him because everyone seeks relevance by speaking about the party,” Marapira said.

In response to these allegations, Winky D’s manager, Jonathan Banda, dismissed the claims, asserting that the concert was purely a musical event. Banda stated, “I have not yet seen the tweet, but in simple logic, does Winky D fit in the category of being a musician? The answer is a resounding yes. Winky D like any other musician organised a musical show and there is no way we can call that a political rally.”

This is not the first time Winky D has faced criticism for “delving into politics” through his music. His album release in January 2023, titled Eureka Eureka, drew controversy, with a Zanu PF-aligned group calling for a ban on his music, citing dangerous lyrics. Notably, Winky D collaborated with hip-hop artist Holy Ten on the song “Ibotso,” which Holy Ten distanced himself from later, expressing regret for his involvement.

Interestingly, while Winky D has faced scrutiny, other artists such as Holy Ten, Michael Magz, Kikky Badass, and Enzo Ishall have seemingly been granted the freedom to engage in politics, openly supporting President Emmerson Mnangagwa during the country’s August 2023 harmonized elections.

The ongoing debate surrounding Winky D’s concert highlights the intersection between music and politics in Zimbabwe and the varying interpretations of artistic expressions within the political landscape.

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