MILITANT chimurenga musician, Thomas Mapfumo, has made a surprise radio comeback after suffering five years of airplay starvation owing to the stinging political vitriol contained in his music, Independent Xtra has established. <
Radio stations, namely Power FM, Radio Zimbabwe and Spot FM, have of late been allocating the musician airplay of his yester-year songs with tame political lyrics, a move largely seen as reconciliatory after he suffered suffocation of his music during former Information minister, Jonathan Moyo’s reign.
Contacted for comment, Power FM head, Admire Taderera, denied that Mapfumo’s music had made a sudden return to the airwaves.
“That’s not true,” he said, “And you can’t call it an ‘all of a sudden’ radio appearance. We have been playing Mapfumo’s music since 2003. Moreover, he’s not part of our mainstream music.”
A Radio Zimbabwe disc jockey who preferred anonymity said he had long foreseen Mapfumo’s music making a radio return: “Zvaizvosvikakupi zvekumubhana? Mapfumo muyimbi mukuru haukwanise kufuratira musambo wake zvikurusei nenhorowondo yake yeChimurenga (This ban thing was getting nowhere. Mapfumo is a great musician and you can’t turn a blind eye to his music considering his Chimurenga history),” he said.
While the musician’s radio comeback comes as a relief to his loyal fans, Mukanya will unfortunately not be able to dish out his traditional Christmas shows back home as he is set to perform in Toronto, Canada, at the Lee’s Palace on December 23.
Efforts to get a comment from the United States-based Chimurenga star proved fruitless.
Mapfumo’s 2000 release, titled Chimurenga Explosion, prompted the state to seal off his music with an airplay blackout and cost a popular radio presenter at the then Radio 2 (now Radio Zimbabwe) her job for spinning one of the songs Disaster contained on the album. – Staff Writer.