Artistes jostle for Mukanya collabo

HARARE - Local artistes are jostling to have a collaboration with United States-based Chimurenga music icon Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo who is in the country for just half-a-month.

Mukanya arrived in the country last week for a once-off Mukanya Homecoming Gig performance scheduled for Glamis Arena in the capital on Friday.

Traditional musician Bryn Taurai Mteki took to social media platform to inform the world about his plans to collaborate with Mukanya.

“Breaking news, this is Bryn Taurai Mteki aka Sekurutau, just phoned Doc. Thomas Tafirenyika Mukanya Muchadura Mapfumo “Hurricane Hugo” Baba Shumba yeZimbabwe Gandanga ….. To welcome him since he came back when I was not around. We are meeting next week ....Big Surprise Coming Soon... Pachedu Mukanya naMbizi (sic),” read the facebook post.

Mapfumo’s publicist Blessing Vava confirmed Mteki’s appointment with Mukanya.

“Yes he spoke namdara over the phone. He is meeting him (Mapfumo) this week,” said Vava.

This comes after Chimurenga Music Company manager Austin Sibanda also confirmed that they are working on collaboration with Oliver Mtukudzi and Suluman Chimbetu among other local artistes.

Mukanya told journalists at a Harare hotel last week that he was ready to work with any artiste, which was a departure from his previous hard-line stance on working with other artistes.

The Glamis Arena gig will be the Corruption singer’s first performance in Zimbabwe in 14 years’ time.

Mtukudzi and Mapfumo are set to share the stage this week, courtesy of Entertainment Republic.

The two will be supported by the Dherira hit-maker Andy Muridzo, Winky D, Suluman, Gary Tight and other musicians.

In his book Nationalists, Cosmopolitans and Popular Music in Zimbabwe, Thomas Turino says Mukanya is no push over artiste in the world considering that “Mapfumo was picked up briefly (1989-91) by Mango, a division of Island Records, in their attempt to find a worldbeat star to replace Bob Marley after his death (Blackwell, in Fox 1986: 320).”

Island Records was a major force behind the worldbeat phenomenon, and Island’s founder, Chris Blackwell, was involved in both discovering and helping to create the worldbeat market niche.

“As with Marley, Mapfumo largely attracted “white liberal, college-oriented” people in the United States, confirming Blackwell’s assessment of a major worldbeat market.” Turino said.

In a local Champaign, Illinois, radio interview during his 1989 tour, Mapfumo expressed surprise that the great majority of people who came to his shows were white.

“It’s been a surprise to me, we have seen a lot of our audience being white and very few black people.

“I don’t know what that means because we are supposed to be seeing our people coming into these gigs….They are Africans; How can they forget their roots?

“They are not supposed to forget their roots; they are supposed to be with us.

“When we come here, they are supposed to be the first people who meet us rather than being met by our white friends. Well this disturbs me a lot.”

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