CAUGHT by the revolutionary frenzy, Chimurenga music fans turned Thomas Mapfumo’s Bulawayo show on Saturday show into a political demonstration as Mukanya belted out his politically charged tracks, which made him unpopular with former President Robert Mugabe’s regime.
Mukanya displayed a close to four-hour-long top-class act at the Large City Hall in Bulawayo, having failed to fulfil a gig on Friday night in Gweru following an alleged power blackout.
When the firebrand Mapfumo started playing Disaster, one of the songs that made him unpopular with the Mugabe-led administration, fans could be seen pointing their fingers to the portrait of President Emmerson Mnangagwa on the wall.
After the song Disaster, fans started chanting lyrics to another politically charged track, Chauya Chauya.
“The song Disaster just reminded us of how the ruling party, Zanu PF, planted the seed of corruption. The problems we are facing right now were planted long back.
Mapfumo had seen that the government which was for the people was now against the same people who put them where they are, hence they put his life in danger,” a disgruntled fan, identified as Jongwe, said.
“We were pointing at the portrait of ED (Mnangagwa) because he was part of the same administration which created all this chaos, even though he now preaches the gospel of anti-corruption. But corruption starts with them. We live among thieves and corrupt leaders.”
After he released the album, Corruption, in 1989, criticising Mugabe’s regime, the government turned against Mapfumo, leading to his exile in the United States.
Despite the low attendance of less than 300 people as predicted by many, Mapfumo put up a scintillating act at the show that also featured Jeys Marabini and Gary Tight.
Marabini and his band proved why they are highly ranked in Bulawayo, as they belted their old and new songs backed by well-choreographed and energetic dancers.
The low attendance could be blamed on the show promoter for his failure to market the concert widely, as posters advertising the gig became visible only a day before the event.
Another factor could be the pricing, as fans had to part away with USD$10 or $40 bond, leaving many with no option but to opt for Killer T who performed at the Vista, which is a stone’s throw away from the Large City Hall.
It was a fun-filled weekend as merrymakers were spoilt for choice on the night at the Castle Lite Block parties at Zarah Lounge, Crystal and East 68 Pub.
Another event which was an option for party goers was the All-star party, which was headlined by ExQ at Venus Night Club.