BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo has come out guns blazing against his “enemies” whom he says are behind rumours surrounding his prolonged stay in Zimbabwe.
Mapfumo,who came back home from his United States base in December for nationwide shows, opened his heart out to Standard Style in an exclusive interview yesterday following talk that he was now staying with a certain Harare woman.
Leaked WhatsApp chats of some of the superstar’s relatives suggested that they were not happy about his decision not to return to Oregon soon after his shows.
“I am not staying with a girlfriend,” he said. “I am actually sleeping alone, but there are some people whom I used to work with like Blessing Vava, my former publicist, who is staying in South Africa, who are trying to soil my image by spreading rumours,” Mapfumo said.
He said the 28-year-old woman (named) he is allegedly having an affair with could be a fan, just like many women that he interacts with because of his music.
“I have a lot of female friends not only in Zimbabwe, but also in England and the United Kingdom who call me, some we have photos with, but this does not mean they are my girlfriends,” he said.
“I am a principled man who values his family. I am not into prostitution and I don’t have a girlfriend, but people are bitter and want to soil my image.”
Mapfumo said allegations that he was stranded in Zimbabwe after his shows failed to generate enough money were also false and malicious.
The musician, who rose to fame during Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence, said one of the reasons he had not yet returned to the US was because he was working on the construction of a culture centre in Domboshava.
“I have a lot of projects that include the building of the culture centre in Domboshava that I have to push into shape and I have to put a structure in Glen Lorne. As soon as that happens, I am free to leave as there are people who will be overseeing the projects,” he said.
“These are some of the reasons why I am still around.
“How can someone be stuck in his own country, stuck to go to America when Zimbabwe is my home?
“I was not born in America, Zimbabwe is my home, so no one should pressurise me to go back to America.”
Mapfumo said the other reason he could not leave immediately after his Peace Tour was that the promoter was refusing to pay him and his band.
“On moral grounds, how do I leave when these youngsters did not get their dues from Max Mugaba?” he charged.
“He is dodging us, that is why I decided to hold some shows so that I could pay the band I used on the Peace Tours.
“Now that I have cleared their dues, I am free to leave, but if there are other things that might come before Friday, I might still be in the country, as no one should pressurise me to go back to America.”
After holding the Peace Tours in December amid hiccups and glitches, Mapfumo went public in early January, accusing music promoter Mugaba and former spokesperson Vava of fleecing him
The two have, however, denied the allegations, insisting the shows did not bring any profits.
As the fallout ensued, Mapfumo’s key band members, lead guitarist Gilbert Zvamaida and percussionist Lancelot Mapfumo, who is a younger brother to the veteran musician, left for their United States base.