Mukanya coming home

HARARE - Zimbabwe's four-year wait for the return of Chimurenga guru Thomas Mapfumo is about to end with fellow superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi among those involved in efforts to bring Mukanya home.

Mapfumo, who has been based in the United States and has not set foot in Zimbabwe since 2008, told the Daily News in an exclusive interview on Monday that his highly-anticipated home-coming will happen around May next year where he will jointly hold a mega show with Tuku.

The others involved in the deal to bring Mukanya are businessman Phillip Chiyangwa and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

“By June next year I will be there,” said Mapfumo from South Africa where he had visited for some shows and to arrange for more shows in that country.

“There are well-meaning people seriously working on making us return to play in Zimbabwe. We will come home that is for sure”.

Mapfumo, whose career has spanned over 44 years, further said fellow Zimbabwean music legend Tuku would be part of his home-coming show.

“In fact, I met Mtukudzi along with Sam Mataure this week at Sheer Music (one of South Africa’s biggest record companies).We have some joint shows lined up”.

Sheer Music is the label that distributes Mtukudzi’s music in South Africa and is reportedly keen to sign on Mapfumo’s forthcoming album which the Chimurenga guru has been reluctant to release due to rampant piracy in Zimbabwe.

 Recently, Tuku and Mukanya held a joint show in Europe and Mapfumo publicly announced that he would hold a joint show with Mtukudzi where they will rekindle the 70s memories when they were part of the Wagon Wheels Band. According to the Tuku and Mukanya camps, one of the songs they will sing together on stage is the popular song, Rova Ngoma Mutavara.

Mukanya, was unprepared to “prematurely reveal too much details” on his return to Zimbabwe. He, however said businessman Philip Chiyangwa is a key player in the deal to bring him home.

“When all the details are in black and white, Chiyangwa and (Cuthbert) Chiromo (his manager) will let you know”.

Mapfumo admitted that he misses Zimbabwe. “Yes, like in that song Ndangariro (from the album Exile released in 2011) of course, I miss home. We are looking forward to playing before our Zimbabwean fans”.

While the Chimurenga super star was a bit cagey with details, his manager was much more forthcoming.

“Mukanya and Tuku have some shows lined up in the United Kingdom around May. The plan is for Mukanya to come to Zimbabwe after the series of shows in the UK,” said Chiromo.

“Mukanya’s home-coming shows will be a big deal. The plan is to bring in some very big musicians from the region to be part of the shows. Mukanya will bring some musicians from the United States of America.”

Chiromo dismissed as nonsense the reported existence of bad blood between Tuku and Mukanya saying actually they are the best of friends.

“The reported friction between Tuku and Mukanya is mere media speculation and pub talk. Actually, I can tell you that Tuku himself has tried in the past to persuade Mukanya to come for some joint shows in Harare. Tuku wanted Mukanya to be the guest of honour at both his 60th birthday and the official opening of Pakare Paye Arts Centre.

“They are in constant touch, they are always holding shows together and that is why Tuku is among the people who want Mukanya back home for shows next year,” said Chiromo.

Mapfumo’s manager revealed that besides Tuku, Mutambara has also joined the drive to bring Mukanya home.

“Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara met mudhara (Mapfumo) in South Africa this week. It would be premature and disrespectful for me to say more on the Deputy Prime Minister’s involvement on the matter. He will reveal the finer details himself.”

The Daily News also understands that Mukanya and Tuku might land in Harare on the same flight as part of publicity around the potentially explosive show pitting the two biggest names in Zimbabwean music. - Dakarai Mashava, Entertainment Editor

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