Zimbabwe election: Musicians boycotted

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Zimbabwe election: Musicians boycotted and
shunned 

Report in The Independent: Several prominent Zimbabwean
singers find themselves caught in a dilemma

If  – as a Zimbabwean musician – you allow the president of the country, Mr Mugabe, to use your music in his election campaign, you are likely to find yourself shunned by your fans, and see your concerts boycotted by disgruntled Zimbabweans. If on the other hand you refuse an offer from Mugabe’s campaigners, your songs will unlikely be heard on the country’s state-sponsored radio station which enjoys a monopoly.
According to Independent’s correspondent Basildon Peta, this is is the dilemma which musicians face in Zimbabwe, as the country approaches parliamentary elections on 31 March, 2005.
One week before this date, the British newspaper reports that some of Zimbabwe’s prominent musicians who have written songs expressing support to president Mugabe, now find themselves shunned by their own fans, and their concerts being boycotted. For instance, president Mugabe’s party has recruited musicians such as Andy Brown, Chiyangwa, and Elias Musakwa either to play at party events or produce songs in his praise, and since then, their record sales have been catastrophic.
Basildon Peta writes from Johannesburg:
“Given the febrile atmosphere, it may not be long before some of Zimbabwe’s biggest musical names seek to relaunch their careers by following the example of Thomas Mapfumo, whose songs became famous during the country’s liberation struggle. After criticising the Mugabe regime, Mapfumo’s songs were never played on the radio again. He recently emigrated to the US.”


The Independent: “Pro-Mugabe musicians suffer crippling boycott”

Zimbabwesituation.com: Full-text version of Independent’s article, “Pro-Mugabe musicians suffer…”

Click to read more about Andy Brown
Andy Brown – who was recruited to promote Mugabe’s election campaign – is now the biggest casualty, according to The Independent

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