What’s in a song?


Oliver Mtukudzi’s latest album, Bvuma/Tolerance has been doing quite well. The title song is even topping the charts on Radio 3’s hit pick.

Radio three is considered the station for the born-free, the generation the ruling ZANU-PF has admitted it has lost. Could the popularity of Bvuma, therefore, mean more than just the good music of Tuku? Could be!

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, gagged from saying anything that might offend the political leadership, has always found solace in some of the local songs. With everyone calling on President Mugabe to go, peacefully, Tuku’s song seems to be telling him just that.

Admit, it seems to be saying, that you are old. You can no longer do things the way you used to.

Of course this is an old song but people talk. They said the same thing about his last album, Paivepo, just before the elections.

In his song Mukuru Mukuru, people said Tuku was urging President Mugabe to listen to the people. In this song he says: “Iwe Mukuru, zvaunoona, hazvidi hasha, rerutsai mwoyo, hazvina rukudzo, kudyira gaka ndokunei.” Literally, “Elder, you see, you do not need to be harsh, lighten up, this does not earn you any respect, why should you be so stubborn?”.

They also said the same thing about Simon Chimbetu’s: Suduruka. But in Chimbetu’s song people were saying Mugabe was asking: “What are you planning to do if I move over?”, the question the husband in the song asks when his wife tells him to move over so that she can sweep.

Perhaps it’s just a song and people are reading what they want from the song. If only it had been Thomas Mapfumo, he does not mince his words.

In Mamvemve (rags), he clearly says the country which Zimbabweans fought for is now in shambles. It is full of crooks.

In “Disaster”, he says, the country is now a disaster. It is riddled with corruption.

He even has a solution. He says those who have milked the country of millions of dollars will have to pay.

Vakomana muchamhanya, he says in his song “Disaster”, meaning literally “Boys you will flee.”


Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on google
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Like it? Share with your friends!

Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *