Jah Prayzah should learn from history

HARARE - Reggae sensation Jah Prayzah will this Saturday face an acid test when he performs at Harare’s City Sports Bar, straight from a controversial gig in which he performed at the Zanu PF manifesto rally in Highfield.

While his management has refuted claims that Prayzah in performing at the rally had endorsed Zanu PF and that this was purely business, his close association with the party has left many questions unanswered.

Apart from this recent gig, Prayzah recently performed in Chinhoyi at another music gathering put together by businessman and Chinhoyi aspiring Zanu PF MP Phillip Chiyangwa which was dubbed ‘‘Vharai Gedhi’’.

The ‘‘Vharai Gedhi’’ showcase, which was free of charge, saw thousands of Chinhoyi residents dancing all day, and launched Chiyangwa’s political comeback bid.

While the singer’s management says Prayzah’s engagements were purely business, there are others, especially those who live in urban areas who feel shortchanged by the artiste who they have  supported in recent years.

But past experiences in which popular musicians who associated themselves with the former liberation party, from the late Simon Chimbetu to Andy Brown slumped from popularity, should be a big lesson to Prayzah.

Musicians tend to easily forget that urban areas are controlled by the MDC and dwellers there, most of whom are music fans, have a tendency of withdrawing support from those who are politically excited.

We have witnessed it in the past, and history has this tendency to repeat itself.

At the launch of his album Tsviriyo this year, a number of Zanu PF bigwigs graced the occasion, among them Savior Kasukuwere, Chiyangwa and Tendai Savanhu.

Chiyangwa bought a single Tsviriyo album for a walloping  $12 000 while Savanhu pledged a full music kit to the rising star.

Webster Shamu, the Zanu PF commissariat is also usually a guest at Prayzah’s showcases.

Prayzah can support Zanu PF if he so wishes and he should do so openly.

In interviews with the Daily News, his promoter, Partson Chimbodza of Chipaz Promotions thinks it is right to engage the star to perform at Zanu PF rallies as long as he is paid — my foot!

It is time that Chipaz advises young musicians wisely and in his bid to make money, he should not entice youthful musicians to get into bed with political parties because history has lessons of those we thought were big but fell with a big thud.

And for promising young musicians like Prayzah, Suluman Chimbetu and Mathias Mhere, do not be enticed by money, for money is the root of all evil. And musicians should differentiate between a national gala and a political party campaign rally.

For years, music has played an important role in Zimbabwe’s political development, and more so when we are approaching crucial elections.

As the main political parties — Zanu PF and MDC — fight for potential votes in 2013, music will take centre stage as it is already being used to grease the ongoing campaign.

In the past we have had former cabinet ministers like Jonathan Moyo, Webster Shamu and Elliot Manyika composing and producing campaign music songs for President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.

Moyo and Shamu used the ministry of Information’s portfolio where they were ministers to fund campaign music compositions ?favourable to Mugabe and Zanu PF.

A number of musicians have benefited from coordinating or producing campaign songs, among them Mbare Chimurenga choir and several youthful urban grooves outfits that have doctored Mugabe’s image and included him on their music videos.

As reward for producing music for Zanu PF, the ZBC-TV gives acres of space to the aforementioned.

Comments (37)

Ndezvako izvo!!! He can perform were he wants.... You can hire him too if you like!!

Mudhara Mukuru - 11 July 2013

Max I think your article stinks. Listen to yourself, read the following quote from yo article...., "Musicians tend to easily forget that urban areas are controlled by the MDC and dwellers there, most of whom are music fans, have a tendency of withdrawing support from those who are politically excited." You are very wrong. Don't take things too personal my friend MDC or whatever political party there's out there don't own people. I was there myself at the rally and I saw a number of MDC's people there,. What were they doing there? You see this a free world everyone does whatever they want and go places they so wish. Its you who need to change mindset. Musicians are just but entertainers and openly Jah Prayzah and his management told it openly that they are not supporting any party and are just doing business as usual. I don't see anything wrong with that. After who denied any MDC person to come buy Prayzah's album on the launch day for whatever amount of money they want to show their support for the young man and may be out do Chiyangwa and his fellows. Saka musarwadziwe wedu we. Siyayi mufanha aite mari inguva yake. Mukokeyiwo kumaRallies enyu mumuitese mari nembiri yamuri kutaura iyi. Lets work with an open mind and build a Free democratic Zimbabwe. Pasi nemweya we 'Territorialism'. Hezvo.. bwaaaa chimweya chenzvimbo. Musicians should be free to go sing at any gathering they are invited whether it's at a church, funeral, birthday party, gala, rally you name it......its a free world and a free Zimbabwe. Thank you.

Ma1 - 11 July 2013

haazvina basa izvo sounds much like you are decampaigning. It appears likle you wrote this article with a shut mind. you grow up and develop political tolerance. munhu anorudza kwaada. iwe udana nevakuru venyika hauende here, indava unciita kunge unopenga so

thomas - 11 July 2013

This is a ridiculous article by a person who purpots to be a journalist over a musician's choice of who to do business with.It is apparent that the journalist wants to incite people against Jah Prayzar,this is so cheap and foolish.If the people do not want Jah Prayzar because he performed at a Zanu Pf function,let the people decide that,do not influence them.

mafirakureva - 11 July 2013

in as much as i really think everyone is entittld to their own political views, Jah Prayzer is really free to choose whom to associate with, it can be really for bussiness that he is in it, but hey young man just watch your foot, i think you goin in too deep, remember we never knw, nobody knows who can be in control tommorow, what do you think will happen to you then, js saying rasta, i really like the dude's music but i think you loosing it

fellysher - 11 July 2013

MAXWELL SIBANDA Gone are the days of hate and worse still intimidation in whatever form. Jah Prayzer should enjoy freedom in his music the way you enjoy yourself in your journalism. I applaud you in your direction of thoughts politically its you right. But when use angles that has a connotation of intimidation I beg to differ. It may be you are not social mature or outright no earthinics. If you want anyone on you side you woe them. You might learn a lesson in the near future when your overtures will fire back atyou

dungas - 11 July 2013

zimbabwe is growing politically and you are not, if Zanu PF uses music to campaign its their strategy and it benefits those who sing and there is no problem with that. be reminded that Jah p sings non political music and we love him and will continue even if he sings on whatever rally. try and be mature hanti?

mukwa - 11 July 2013

ihapana hapana musa shora munhu ne zvaaa kwanisa kuita imi ndimi mave kutoda kukanganisa munhu ari kuita tunhu twakwe kana aka shevedzwawo nevanomufarira oramba here itaiwo sevanhu hakuna munhu we zanu kana mdc tese tiri vezimbabwwe kwete kuita zvekupatsanurana kana aka shevedzwa ne zanu kubindura ngaaende akashevedzwa ne zanu kuchinhoyi ngaaende ne kuti vanhu vaanoridzira vese ndeve zimbabwe

wekutanga - 11 July 2013

dont foul urselves mfana uyu made a mistake that was made by other stars better than him b4 so dont blast the writer we saw it happen to andy brown and simon chimbetu and many others zanu will use and dump u like tissues ask tambaoga if zanu is looking after him or buying his music

kk - 11 July 2013

The reporter is very correcct,the musician must know that his food comes from the urban dwellers,and these people support MDC T.So if the youngman associates himself like Simon Chimbetu,Andy brown and others then I am sorry to him as we feel shortchanged by the youngman.His allegiance to Zanu pf means we are now abandoning his shows with immediate effect.This means there is no more salary for his workers as it our money,the MDC T supporters.

igwe - 11 July 2013

Mupfana uya azopera manje. They will use him like a condom. Kana maelections apera they will flush him down the drain. Mirai muone

Madzibaba - 11 July 2013

Hapana nyaya so entertainment yakutoshaikwa muma political gatherings here?The most important thing is for the musician is to sticks his core business which is entertaining the people.

HAYA - 11 July 2013

not all urban dwellers are MDC-T so all of you pple who think you you know too much y not just stop attending his shows and see if the he will perform in an empty club... those who love his music will still listen to it no matter who he supports stop trying to incite vanhu to think its wrong for one to attend and perform at a rally. Some of you you will be the first ones to go to City Sports Bar.

Mr Bee - 11 July 2013

Vachakusvipa saChinx naTambawoga. Andy Brown & Chopper suffered for doing a Jah Prayzah.

Jah Dununu - 11 July 2013

You are right Mr journalist, but you missed the point. The point is 'what was he singing' his usual songs or zanu pf praise songs. The artists you mention lost their creativity by trying to fit Zanu praise songs into their works hence they compromised the quality of their music. Chembetu, brown and tambaonga started singing praise songs, do not forget that this also what put Majaiva into oblivion. At the end of it all the young is a free individual let him go whereever he wants to go. Lets also not forget that Manyika's Norah Norah was a big hit despite the fact that he was a ZANU PF.

wakapiwa - 11 July 2013

Haha the writer is nuts. Look at Macheso who even cried after meeting Mugabe and he still has the largest following in Zimbabwe. Iko ku MDC kwacho kuneiko inga wani vana Dread wavo uya wokumborohwa asi zvino uripi

zimba - 11 July 2013

i think anyone is entitled to his opinion so leave that youngman alone ,if he is a fool can be used and dumped

systems - 11 July 2013

u are becoming unproffesional. why do you hate the nyoung star for his career. what about you in your media industry do you have anything to do with zanu. please report realistic. we want a positive zimbabwe, do not bribe the nation. jah is a star and his astute will never be compromised because you expose him to zanu. why uchipenga zvakadaro

kudzi - 11 July 2013

i think anyone is entitled to his opinion so leave that youngman alone ,if he is a fool can be used and dumped

systems - 11 July 2013

the reporter is a bafoon,chashamisa chii,if u want him to perform at an mdc rally just pay him,iwe zvaunonyora uchi praiser mdc unoziva here kuti achatonga makore anotevera ndiani,if u hurt the young man just speak fo youself and stop inciting innocent zim music lovers,uridofo

shelaz - 11 July 2013

Speak fo yourself,if u hate the young musician don't try to incite mature zim music lovers to do the same,Allan zvaakaridza pa mdc rally wakadini ku commentor,people don't look at music from a stupid political perspective.Koiwe zvauno praiser mdc mazuvaose unoziva here kuti achatonga gore rinouya ndiani,uridofo remakoko,tibvirepo apo

shelaz - 11 July 2013

Prayzah was in bindura not long ago, was in chinhoyi, was in highfield last week, He might not be singing politics but this promising young man is loosing it. Anything associated with zanu turns to dust. Ngatisanyeperane hama, besides old grumpy old men in towns and few chipangano guys, zanu pf has less than 1% population in cities. If people of mutasa age will fill prayzar shows then let him keep on licking shriveled behinds of this old age party. On the other hand its natural for Jah to associate with zanu pf. The guy is from Uzumba, a hot bed of zanu pf. He grew in it, sleep in it. But now if he is dreaming of going big in his business he needs to re-focus on the type of people he play with and keep his political views private

mafikizolo - 11 July 2013

Hapana nyaya apa. Inga wani Allan Chimbetu akaridza KuMarondera.

James - 11 July 2013

Hapana zvamuri kutaura apa.The reporter is very correct here,the youngman arasa hunhu hwake by wining and dining with the evil(zanupf).You must know that urban dwellers all support MDC T.As for Allan who appeared at MDC T rally made a mark for himself.You will start to see a bumper crowd at his shows.It's clear here,what more do you want.

igwe - 11 July 2013

musicians are there to entertain people wherever there is the function. Mukosho wako, siya munhu aridze paanoda. whether its zanu or mdc rally who cares! iwe chakurwadza chii ipapa, mboro yako.

number1jayprayzafan - 11 July 2013

musicians are there to entertain people wherever there is the function. Mukosho wako, siya munhu aridze paanoda. whether its zanu or mdc rally who cares! iwe chakurwadza chii ipapa, mboro yako.

number1jayprayzafan - 11 July 2013

Jah Prayzha perform for Zanupfutseki big time but please vote wisely for Change !M D C

Grace Gono - 12 July 2013

Jah Prayzah,what type of music do you play? I am a raggae fan thu n thru but I dont see your music as reggae. U r no reggae musician. You will sink with ZANU PF. Ask Mteki and Tambaoga. Chipaz is also ZANU PF.

KIdPower - 12 July 2013

I think Jah Prayzah ibenzi, benzi rinomhanya chairo. A young man with so much potential wakunozviporongera ega.

ChimedzahMapfumo - 14 July 2013

I think Jah Prayzah ibenzi, benzi rinomhanya chairo. A young man with so much potential wakunozviporongera ega.

ChimedzahMapfumo - 14 July 2013

wotoshinga kuimbira zanu otherwise yaanzara

nichola - 18 July 2013

wotoshinga kuimbira zanu otherwise yaanzara

nichola - 18 July 2013

wotoshinga kuimbira zanu otherwise yaanzara

nichola - 18 July 2013

wotoshinga kuimbira zanu otherwise yaanzara

nichola - 18 July 2013

wotoshinga kuimbira zanu otherwise yaanzara

nichola - 18 July 2013

wotoshinga kuimbira zanu otherwise yaanzara

nichola - 18 July 2013

wotoshinga kuimbira zanu otherwise yaanzara

nichola - 18 July 2013

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