Exiled Thomas Mapfumo sets April return to Zimbabwe for a show in Harare

By Staff Reporter

After more than a decade in exile, Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo will make a long-awaited return to Zimbabwe and is set to perform on the 28th of April 2018 in Harare.

Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo
Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo

Confirming the news, his publicist Blessing Vava said “On behalf of Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited and Chimurenga Music Company I wish to officially announce that Dr Thomas Tafirenyika Mukanya Mapfumo will be performing in Zimbabwe on the 28th of April 2018 in Harare.”

“We are excited that Mukanya will be performing in Zimbabwe after more than a decade’s absence. On his behalf and CMC I will be giving you updates with regards to Mukanya’s Welcome Back Bira,” Vava said in a brief statement seen by Nehanda Radio.

The outspoken musician relocated to the United States in 2004 alleging intimidation and persecution by the Mugabe regime. But since Mugabe was toppled via a military coup in November, Mapfumo has said he was prepared to give the new president Emmerson Mnangagwa a chance to change things.

Writing on Twitter, Mapfumo said “Kune avo varikukanda ma spikes mu road pa govt itsva iyi, dai mamboipawo mukana. Musikana haabate pamuviri obva otosununguka mwana same day.

(You must give this government a chance and stop throwing spanners in its way. A woman doesn’t get pregnant and give birth on the same day),” 

In an interview with Nehanda Radio last year in November, Mapfumo vowed he would never do shows to prop up individual politicians or political parties and said he would always remain on the side of the poor people in the country.  He said if he had followed the lead of other singers who sang for Mugabe’s regime he could have been a millionaire by now.

Meanwhile Mapfumo was last weekend honoured with a World Music Award at the 2018 Globalfest Awards in New York. “We are elated by this global recognition and it is a testimony of the impact and illustrious artistry work of a career spanning four decades,” his publicist Vava said. 

Mapfumo’s manager Austin Sibanda gave a speech on his behalf saying; “It is such a humbling experience to be fished out of a maze of global musicians and be recognised with such a powerful award before such an amazing audience,” he said.

“We have come a long way from Zimbabwe to be here. Our chimurenga music has evolved so much but has stayed hooked to the core values of peace and justice. The music journey has been fraught with challenges but the same music has given us hope for the social change we believe in.

“It has not been an easy tour to fight for freedom and social justice in a situation where the music stage could find itself next to men in dark glasses awaiting the last song before sad action starts,” Sibanda added. Nehanda Radio