We owe our long careers to God: Mapfumo

HARARE - United States of America-based Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo, who celebrated his 70th birthday in July this year, says he and fellow Zimbabwean music greats Oliver Mtukudzi, 63, and Zexie Manatsa, 71, owe their long careers to God.

While fairly young musicians continue to die on a regular basis, Mapfumo, Mtukudzi and Manatsa have all been in the music business for over four decades.

Mukanya, as Mapfumo is fondly known by his fans, told the Daily News from his home in Oregon, in the United States of America, that God has kindly made it possible for them to outlive younger musicians who have mostly succumbed to the Aids scourge.

“We owe that to God. We are surviving by the grace of God. It is down to his kindness,” said Mapfumo.

The Mamvemve singer added that he was looking forward to sharing the stage with Tuku and several South African music stars that include Hugh Masekela, Ringo Madlingozi and Yvonne Chaka Chaka at the Mapungugwe Festival to be held in Limpopo on December 13.

“I am really looking forward to playing on the same stage with Oliver and other artistes at the festival in South Africa. I don’t have a playlist as such for the festival, I just go on stage and pick up my songs as I like because I have so many choices,” said Mukanya.

After performing in Mozambique and South Africa over the last few months, Mapfumo, who has not set foot in Zimbabwe since 2008, conceded that performing in countries that share borders with Zimbabwe make him yearn to return home.

“Well, yes, I am actually dying to perform in Zimbabwe. I would like to go back home and perform for my fans,” said Pidigori Waenda hit-maker.

In addition to the Limpopo show, the chimurenga music legend will also perform in Johannesburg at Bassline on December 18 and in Cape Town two days later.

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