Editor — Aesthetically, the songs done by the Mbare Chimurenga Choir are beautiful.
The lyrics and the rhythm are not grandiose at all. They don’t have any pretensions to musical complexity, sophistication or greatness.
The songs are spontaneous and arousing. They are the kind of songs which, played at any gathering of ordinary Zimbabweans, will see people rising from their seats en masse. The dance would be unchoreographed but you would certainly see method to the madness.
Somehow, everyone will be stomping the ground hard and simultaneously. The waists will be gyrating in unison with the beat and with the rest of the dancers. The bottoms will be wiggled vigorously in openly sexually suggestive style.
The whole crowd will be one, united in call and response. An intense joy will grip everyone present, immersing them in a fantastic cauldron of happiness. Gender doesn’t matter here. Neither does age.
So, these jingles strike a chord within the psyche of ordinary Zimbabweans, like it or not. they evoke memories of our musical tradition. They resonate to our primeval song and dance, which a 100 years ago, scandalised the early white missionaries.
But there the beauty ends. Because these jingles, even if they might have been composed and performed with benign intent are being played with dubious intent.
Consider the lyrics of “Ndokusetera Timu.” Firstly, it’s a praise song for leaders of one political party. Secondly, it purports to ring fence national leadership within the confines of this “chosen” and “astute” group. Thirdly, these praise singers triumphantly, cynically, arrogantly and authoritatively bestow on the “team” the permanent mandate to rule.
Fourthly, consider the frequency with which this and the other jingles from the same CD are being played pervasively across radio and television.
Obviously, this is with due respect to the tried and tested methods of two notorious erstwhile ministers of propaganda well versed in the sciences and arts of brainwashing.
But these parochial jingles are being played in the context of the Global Political Agreement (GPA). The exclusivity being preached here flies in the face of the doctrine of inclusivity which, quite rightly, should be the currency of the prevailing political and social environment.
Who or what gives these praise singers the right to expropriate nations democracy and in its place impose partisan agendas? They are clearly out of step with the current dispensation.
Has the ZBC extended invites to other political players to air their own jingles? Or alternatively, are they assured of space should they decide to take the gauntlet and insist it’s time too their jingles were aired? And if this comes to pass, wither thou the GPA? And more importantly, wither thou Zimbabwe?
There is no sane justification for the airing of the Mbare Chimurenga Choir jingles. All those strenuously defending this travesty (PHDs and professors included) are the same people that unleash violence on ordinary Zimbabweans to cower them into submission with the advent of every election.
In the last elections (2008) “the people” were given this macabre choice by these self-styled revolutionaries “Do you want a short sleeve or a long sleeve?” meaning do you want your arm cut off (literally) at the elbow or by the wrist. ZBC is a public and national broadcaster, which belongs to the entire nation regardless. It is meant to serve the interests of all Zimbabweans — those who support ZANU-PF, those who support other parties and the apolitical too.
ZBC cannot and must not be used to rabidly extol one political party and please one section of the population while at the same time denigrating other sections of society. ZBC is shoving insults down hapless people’s throats.
Enough is enough.