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Thomas Mapfumo Scoffs at Western and Chinese 'Mega Deals' in New Song

  • Blessing  Zulu

United States based Chimurenga music icon, Thomas Mukanya Mapfumo, has attacked the so-called Chinese and Western mega deals in his much-awaited 12-track album, Danger Zone, released last week.

In the song Chikwereti or credit, Mapfumo says, “When poor countries get money from donor countries, like Zimbabwe getting money from China and other donors, that money is not free.

The donor countries want to help, but one way or another, we will have to pay them back later. It’s not a gift. Nothing comes for nothing; Nobody gives away riches for free."”

Last year, Zimbabwe and China signed nine landmark agreements that Harare said will see the emerging global giant from Asia providing financial support for the much-needed economic enablers in critical sectors that include energy, roads, national railway network, telecommunications, agriculture and tourism as part of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.

But some Zimbabweans are critical of the deals saying they have not seen much benefit. But the government says its Look East policy has kept it afloat and helped it counter sanctions imposed by the West since 2002.

Mapfumo talks to VOA Studio 7 about his album and its title Danger Zone.

Here is a summary of the songs on the album. DANGER ZONE

1. Chikonzero: (The Reason Why): A love song about a man who has been rejected by a

woman. “Tell me the reason why you rejected me,” he asks. The woman tells the man,

“It’s because you are a criminal and a loafer. You don’t work and you can’t look after

me. That’s the reason I am rejecting you.”

2.Danger Zone: A song about trouble spots around the world. Thomas is denouncing

people who resort to conflict in places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. There

must be a better solution to these problems. We are human beings. If animals in the bush can live in harmony, why not us? We've got five senses. We were created by God. We are his children. So why are we at each other's throat?

3. Zimbabwe: A song about unity among the people of Zimbabwe. We should leave

politics aside and try and work together to improve and rebuild the economy of our

country. We need to develop as one nation, because we are lagging behind.

4. Nhamo Urombo: (Problems of the Poor): When poor people meet, they always discuss

the hardships they are facing. In peoples’ homes, on the street, on the bus, the story is

always the same: it's all about poverty. The wealth in many nations is controlled by very

few people. Meanwhile, the rest of the nation is suffering. It is painful to see people

riding in good cars, living in nice houses, and getting medication when they are sick,

while so many others don't even know how they will eat the next day.

5. Chikwereti (Credit): When poor countries get money from donor countries, like

Zimbabwe getting money from China and other donors, that money is not for free. The

donor countries want to help, but one way or another, we will have to pay them back

later. It’s not a gift. Nothing comes for nothing; nobody gives away riches for free.

6. Hatidi Politics; (We Don’t Want Politics): We don't want politics. We want to live a

good life, to drive decent cars and live in nice houses. We want to go to better schools

and be well educated. People are tired of hearing about politics. Politicians are

concentrating on politics and not thinking of the people they are supposed to look after.

People are suffering, saying, "Stop politicking, and give us what we want."

7. Shebeen: A new version of an old song about people who spend all their money on

beer and women at the shebeen (speakeasy). Thomas produced this musically updated

version of the song with DJ Charlie B. Wilder, and featuring a guest vocal by Natalia

“Moxie” Rollins.

8. Celebrate: A song about good times. When your sports team has a victory, or a family

gathers for a wedding, a birth, or a holiday, you celebrate.

9.Music: African music. American music. Chimurenga music. Reggae music. What life

is all about! Also produced with DJ Charlie B. Wilder.

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