Ammara recalls Andy Brown’s clash with gvt

Ammara revealed that Andy was a resilient and patriotic artist, who was not moved by threats.

DESPITE being a praise singer for the late former president Robert Mugabe regime, Ammara Brown said her father, the late Andy had a run in with the authorities.

At one time Brown was a praise singer for the Mugabe regime and its unpopular policies and attended numerous Zanu PF functions, leading to the musicians being unpopular with fans.

He strongly participated in Zanu PF's Hondo Yeminda campaign when he teamed up with Sister Flame and Potato to form the Mo' Fire crew which did the song VaChitepo.

Ammara who was a backing vocalist at The Storm (Band) said her father was at one time at the wrong side of the authorities due to his politically charged music.

“I didn’t tour much around the world with my father, but I did regional tours and most of my experience was in Zimbabwe where I learnt the ugly and dark side of the industry," she said.

"I watched my father fall from grace after being heavily involved in politics. I got to see how the police treated him and I got to see so many dynamics of how horrible the music industry could be.”

Ammara revealed that Andy was a resilient and patriotic artist, who was not moved by threats.

“His album Chiwoko went on to be banned on radio, but he kept on being resilient. I was lucky to see his resilience; my dad was a no nonsense person who loved the country,” she said.

Chiwoko (Corruption) was released in 2010, with 10 tracks speaking about corruption in the country.

“It seems corruption has become a cancer. I saw it fit as a musician to play my part to castigate corruption as it has decayed our ethics, customs and culture as a sovereign nation,” said Brown, speaking to the media after the release of Chiwoko.

The album went on to be muted by the state broadcaster ZBC as well as radio stations.

Brown died in 2012 at the age of 50 at Parirenyatwa Hospital.

Andy joined the band Ilanga in 1986. Fronted by singer Comrade Chinx, Andy played lead guitar. Ilanga had a successful life-span, producing two albums, 1987’s Silver and Gold, and 1988’s Visions Untold.

Their crowning achievement came when they graced the stage alongside Tracy Chapman, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, the Bundu Boys and Youssou N’Dour at the 1988 Human Rights Concert in Harare.

Although both Andy and Chinx left the band in 1989, Ilanga continued to record, releasing a solitary album under songstress Busi Ncube.

Cde Chinx, who was also a government praise singer, like Andy had a conflicted legacy of music after his demise from cancer at the age of 61.  By the time Chinx died, he was now a poor and pale shadow of his former self who couldn’t fit his medical bill and food.

Calls for Chinx to be declared a national hero were ignored by the government. However the government had offered the late musician a house in which he died a day before his house warming party.

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