It is Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo’s wish to see Zimbabwean artistes raising the country’s flag internationally by showcasing diverse cultures through their art.
Like any ageing parent, Mukanya wants to nurture the youngsters to follow in his and another legend, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi’s footsteps so that they travel the world. No doubt, these two musicians, who stuck to their roots, managed to take their music outside the country’s borders and are celebrated for that.
But unfortunately, the current crop of artistes seems to be disappointing Mukanya as none of them are up to the task.
In a video shared online this week, Mukanya said Zimdancehall music for example, was going nowhere as the artistes would never be able to penetrate the international market. This is simply because they are trying to imitate Jamaicans and are not good at it, well according to Mukanya.
“Let’s stop taking other people’s things (music) and making them ours. We leave our culture and start chasing others which is not really useful,” said a concerned Mukanya in reference to Zimdancehall artistes.
“I heard Oliver Mtukudzi spoke to Tocky Vibes and advised him to do away with Zimdancehall and he listened. He told him to do things (music) which will make him known and I’m glad he listened. He should now stick to it.”
He said if Zimdancehall artistes insist on singing dancehall, they should consider singing it in Patois so that they become recognised and competitive internationally.
“If they want to do dancehall, they should do it in Patois. But most of them (Zimdancehall artistes) don’t know how to sing in Patois. It’s not like people aren’t allowed to sing other people’s music, but when doing so, sing in a language that they (owners of music/genre) use so that you’re recognised internationally.”
Jah Signal, like Tocky Vibes, Mukanya said, should also deviate from Zimdancehall and give his music an urban grooves vibe like he did on the Shinga Muroora (Sweetie) song.
“Jah Signal has that song called Muroora. I want to tell him to continue singing such songs and keep going that direction as he can go places with that route.
“He must not think he’ll make it with hip hop or dancehall music. Dancehall won’t take him places as it has its owners (Jamaicans).”
On several occasions, Winky D has been said to have outshone Jamaican artistes who have performed in Zimbabwe. This, Mukanya said, was a big joke as one can never compare Winky D with a renowned Jamaican musician.
“We’ll be laughing when we hear people saying Winky outshone Beenie Man. These (Beenie Man) are the owners of dancehall so what will you be talking about when you say Winky outshone Beenie.
“This is quite a joke,” said Mukanya. The Chronicle