Makoni lights up 'State of the nation'

HARARE - Veteran solo musician Steve “Dhongi “Makoni still packs a powerful punch.

The Zvachonyana hit-maker, who has largely stayed away from the spotlight for the past few years, demonstrated that he still has what it takes when he featured on the set of Rooftop Promotions’ political satire — State of the Nation — on Thursday night at Theatre in the Park.

Makoni was a guest star in a cast that also included Dave Guzha, Doc Vikela, Chirikure Chirikure and Chido Tenga. The veteran musician-cum-comedian set the ball rolling with stinging lyrics that mocked the ruling Zanu PF oft-repeated claim that the protests regularly occurring in Harare and other areas are being instigated by foreign powers.

In a nutshell, the Handiende singer, who was at his cynical best, lambasted the authorities for strangely believing that Zimbabweans who are complaining of hunger are being influenced by foreigners. He added that dying Zimbabweans would soon be accused by State officials of giving up life “at the behest of foreigners”.

Makoni’s witty and potent lyrics were juxtaposed with equally powerful poetry from Chirikure Chirikure which hit out at the State for tear-gassing people who are expressing their views and exercising their rights.

State of the Nation, a parody of Zimbabwe’s corrupt and incompetent politics, returned to Theatre in the Park this time focusing on First Lady Grace Mugabe’s profound influence on both her husband and Cabinet ministers.

In one scene, Mugabe and Grace (played by Chido Tenga) stumbles on Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa (a role played by comedian Doc Vikela) and his predecessor Tendai Biti (played by Chirikure Chirikure) having an animated discussion on the government’s inability to pay salaries and bonuses.

Even though Biti escapes just before Grace and Mugabe arrive, the First Lady sternly attacks Chinamasa for allegedly holding meetings with Biti outside the knowledge of Mugabe.

After its run at Theatre in the Park on Thursday, State of the nation — which is being held with support from Zimrights and the Election Resource Centre — was scheduled to be performed in Bulawayo as a Bluez Café pop up event at the Royal Hotel in the City of Kings last night.

The powerful political parody was taken to Zimbabwe’s second largest city by a non-profit arts education organisation called Nhimbe Trust.

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