New Mapfumo album imminent

HARARE - Exiled Chimurenga super star Thomas Mapfumo will release his long-awaited album World on Fire before the end of this month despite his misgivings about rampant music piracy in Zimbabwe.

Late last year the Zimbabwe music legend told the Daily News he would withhold the release of new albums until pirates were put in check.

“There is so much piracy in Zimbabwe; recording new music in such an environment doesn’t make business sense anymore”, Mapfumo said then.

But it appears playing before passionate Zimbabwean fans last Friday in London and on Saturday in Leicester, has convinced him to change his mind.

Mapfumo, who was delighted by the big attendances at the two UK shows, told this paper by phone from Leicester on Sunday that all is set for the album to be finally released.

“As soon as I get back to the United States we will start working on the sleeve”, said the Lion of Zimbabwe, as Mapfumo is known by his fans.

“We have 14 tracks ready but chances are we will release a ten-track album at the end of the month”.

The Zimbabwe music legend said the album title World on Fire reflects the various problems affecting many countries in the world.

“It is an album that looks at serious problems affecting the world; the world is really on fire”, said Mapfumo.

The 68-year old musician’s independent label Chimurenga Music will market the album in Zimbabwe while South African company Sheer Sound will handle distribution in South Africa.

“I had talks with Sheer Sound late last year and am positive we will strike a deal. We hope to identify other distributors elsewhere”.

Mapfumo, now based in Oregon in the United States of America left Zimbabwe nine years ago and has not been in Zimbabwe in the last five years.

A group of Zimbabweans who include Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and businessman Philip Chiyangwa are working on plans to bring the exiled Zimbabwean music legend whose music career spans over 40 years to Zimbabwe for a series of joint shows with fellow superstar Oliver Mtukudzi possibly in July. -
Dakarai Mashava, Entertainment Editor

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