Mugabe, new pop star in the making

2011-11-05 14:50

While the world’s attention is centred on President Robert Mugabe’s health and the leadership crisis in his party and the country, he is busy carving out a name for himself as a pop idol.

Mugabe is featured on the music ­album, Nhaka Yedu/Our Heritage by Born Free Crew.

His stage name is Gushungo and his piercing voice is heard in the song Toita Sei, where he gives a brief history ­lesson about life in Zimbabwe during the colonial era and where he seeks to justify why colonial rule had to end.

Mugabe is not new to showbiz. Last year he appeared in a music video talking on a cellphone in street lingo.

The album is part of Zanu-PF’s drive to garner support from the youth.

“It’s a calculated move to try to sell the image of the 87-year-old leader to voters who are over 18 years old,” said political analyst Takura Zhangazha.
The executive producer is none other than Mugabe’s Minister of Information and Publicity, Webster Shamu.

“The song sends a positive message to all Zimbabweans in all walks of life. It explains some of the president’s principles,” said Shamu.

In Harare most commuter buses and public transport vehicles were given free copies of the album and they play it regularly.

On Power FM, a youth station, the song is played on hourly rotation and on national television the music video is featured regularly just before the news bulletin.

Since the turn of the century Zim-babwean political parties have been using music as an avenue for political campaigning.

However, only Zanu-PF music has been finding its way into the mainstream media and anyone who is found playing music from the opposition is ­liable to be arrested.

A few months ago, a police officer, Assistant Inspector Tedious Chisango, was fired from the force on allegations of playing an MDC T song and “teaching police recruits about regime change”.

His employers, the Ministry of Home Affairs, indicated that the policeman had a case to answer because he had an MDC T campaign song as a ringtone on his cellphone.

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