Cde Chinx hero status angers artistes

HARARE – Artistes have condemned the government’s decision to accord revolutionary musician Dick “Cde Chinx” Chingaira a provincial or liberation hero status.

State media yesterday published articles quoting Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo saying Cde Chinx had been declared a liberation war hero.

Chingaira died in Harare on Friday after battling prostate cancer for over three years and almost every artiste was optimistic the late musician would be the first serious musician to be laid at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare.

Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) chairperson Joseph Nyadzayo fumed about the government’s decision to award Chingaira a mere provincial hero status.

“Awarding Cde Chinx a provincial hero’s status is the bad or worse decision made by the politburo. It is a slap in the face for the entire arts sector. We are against that decision.

“Cde Chinx’s war credentials speak for themselves, hence denying him national hero status means the government does not consider artistes as important but surprisingly whenever national heroes are buried at the National Heroes Acre musicians will be invited to perform at the event. It’s so sad,” Nyadzayo told the Daily News yesterday.

Nyadzayo, through his organisation, Zima, donated a house to the late musician as a life-time award considering Chingaira’s immense contribution to the attainment of national independence of Zimbabwe through music.

Sungura musician and Zanu PF sympathiser Energy Mutodi told the Daily News that Chingaira deserves to be a national hero.

“I think the leadership has made a mistake in declaring him a liberation war hero (provincial), maybe they wanted to say national hero.

“As fellow artistes, we were expecting that he would be conferred national hero status considering that he was a freedom fighter as well as an outstanding musician whose music played a crucial role during and after the liberation struggle,” Mutodi said.

“However, it’s up to the leadership, maybe they have got information which we do not have but basing on the information that is already in the public domain, Chingaira is a national hero.”

Though Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi was not readily available for comment yesterday, but he questioned what does it takes for one to be a hero in the song Hero.

“Can anybody give me an answer to my question? What is a hero? A national hero? Do you have to die to be a hero? Then what is a hero? To me Safirio Madzikatire is a hero. Our national hero...” goes the song.

Mtukudzi revealed in Jennifer Kyker’s book Oliver Mtukudzi: Living Tuku Music In Zimbabwe that “why I came to write a song specifically about him is because when he died he didn’t get the recognition that a nation should give him. I consider him a national hero...and I think the nation was behind that.”

Musician Fred Nyakudanga said he was equally disappointed by the government’s decision in making Chingaira a mere provincial hero.

“I am disappointed because to me fighting war cannot just be by means of the gun. In Mao’s principles, mobilisation is a vital element of which song and dance are critical.

“Even intimidation sometimes can be by use of song. Maruza Imi Vapambepfumi is one good example of songs used to intimidate,” he said.

“It is clear that our government does not recognise artistes hence why we do not have an industry to talk about. We need protection from pirates, we need fair competition from foreign artistes and so on, so if the government can’t have one of us lie on the national shrine it means we are not represented. They just want to use us to their advantage.”

However, award-winning playwright Sylvanos Mudzvova is of different opinion.

“Cde Chinx’s music encouraged a violent takeover of farms hence it contributed to the deaths of innocent people.

‘His Hondo Yeminda album incited violence which resulted in drunken youths and war veterans moving in on farms murdering farmers, their families and their workers; and for this reason I dismiss him from being called a national hero, Mudzvova said.

Comments (1)

Considering the perks and benefits to family (when one is declared a national hero) the already heavily burdened tax-payers cannot afford another cost.

Sinyo - 22 June 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.