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Thomas Mapfumo Compiling 'People-Centered' Album

FILE: Zimbabwean pop star Thomas Mapfumo, a hero of Zimbabwe's liberation struggle, performs in Chitungwiza, south of Harare, Zimbabwe. (File Photo)

Chimurenga musician, Thomas Mapfumo, says he is currently working on a 10-track album.

“We don’t have a title for it as yet, we are still working on it. It’s all about the problems that the world is facing today (including Zimbabwe). We are all losing hope about Zimbabwe because as you know everything is in shambles in Zimbabwe … People are suffering. Our story is a very sad story.”

Mapfumo said he is also still promoting his last album, Danger Zone, which featured hits like Shebeen with lyrics depicting the goings-on in speakeasies.

“A lot of people like Danger Zone and I think it’s all over the place in countries like Japan and even in Europe we have managed to send a lot of copies there.”

Reacting to a question on what inspires him to have so many productions, the Chimurenga music writer, composer, singer and producer, said, “I am a musician. I love music and I am a song writer … I am always thinking of new songs.”

He said no family member appears to have similar skills “because we have different talents. Some people are talented in some other things.”

Asked when he is likely to go back to Zimbabwe, Mapfumo said he expected to live in exile in America for a long time. He left his own country following claims that the government wanted to persecute him for some of his songs that were critical to President Robert Mugabe’s rule.

“What is happening there right now makes me … eehhh ….well, well, well I don’t really know, I cannot tell you … I want to go to Zimbabwe to play music but the situation that is there today it’s gonna take us a long, long time, you know …”

Mapfumo was recently in Mozambique and South Africa where he performed before capacity audiences.

“What I saw in Mozambique (life of people) is a disgrace. I think it’s because Africa is not united … Africa must be like the United States, Europe they are united and here we have the United States … And these are the same people who are destroying Africa anyway.”

He said a united Africa needs young people and not the old guard like President Robert Mugabe.

Mapfumo started singing Chimurenga music when he was young and produced some songs that inspired young people to take up arms against the Rhodesian government led by President Robert Mugabe.