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Thomas Mapfumo


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Marondera, Zimbabwe (1945 – present)

Thomas Mapfumo (born 1945 in Marondera, Zimbabwe) is a Zimbabwean musician known as “The Lion of Zimbabwe” for his immense popularity and for the political influence he wields through his music.

Pre-Independence, his songs openly called for the violent overthrow of the government, with lyrics like “Mothers, send your sons to war.” Since the white government didn’t understand Shona, however, at first they didn’t realize how radical the songs were.

Eventually they caught on, though. The climax came with a song called “Hokoyo!”, which means “Watch out!” The government banned the record from the state-controlled radio and threw him into a prison camp without charges in 1979. Despite this, they couldn’t stop his records from being played in discos or on radio stations they didn’t control, like the Voice of Mozambique. Large demonstrations in protest of his arrest and an inability to trump up charges against him forced the government to release him after three months.

After Independence, in 1980, Mapfumo’s popularity continued to grow. The hero kept on singing about the injustices of Mugabe’s government and, history repeating itself, his music was banned from state radio in the early years of the 2000s. Mapfumo, who received the honors of a doctorate for his contribution to Zimbabwean music, now became a nuisance to Mugabe’s government.


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  • banandelfiner


    12 Nov 2012 Reply
  • Trustmore

    I like this dude,he is the best of Chimurenga mastero

    11 Jan 2011 Reply
  • llex

    до чего жеж красиво. как могло получиться что я до сего дня это не слышал?? и похоже что это любовь на всю жизнь :)

    7 Sep 2010 Reply
  • timothyzha <vote

    25 Apr 2010 Reply
  • StevePL

    good stuff

    5 Sep 2009 Reply
  • chiefmabhena198

    mapfumo creates life teaching music and he is a visionary.when listening to his musik,i listen with the heart.the dude is talented and respects emancipation of the black people. Nduna

    6 Jul 2009 Reply
  • Lenyora

    I just love this guy...

    29 May 2009 Reply
  • agogo2-3

    six great hours radio stream of Thomas Mapfumo:

    30 Mar 2009 Reply
  • haylz222

    I just watched the short film Nora a couple of days ago- amazing film, beautifully shot and all brought together by the wonderful soundtrack written by Thomas Mapfumo. Does anybody know if it's available anywhere to buy? I really want to hear the song at the end again

    8 Feb 2009 Reply
  • 1lutherblissett

    If you like Thomas Mapfumo's music, buy or rent the Africa Calling DVD, where you can see him and his band perform (only 2 songs, alas, but a great performance). The rest of the DVD is great too, if you like African music.

    28 Dec 2008 Reply
  • widdlestick

    Sad that a veil of pop obscures the ears of the vast majority, when beautiful music like this should be more widely heard.

    27 Aug 2008 Reply
  • PsychoBells

    this dude is awesome. if he was from jamaica or something he would receive plenty more accolades all across the globe. he deserves more listeners

    6 Jan 2008 Reply
  • _Amon_Ra_

    I can't even being to express how this man music makes me feel. I don't even know what he is saying, but energy I get from it is unbelievable. This music can turn the worst day upside down. (Shumba)

    7 Dec 2007 Reply
  • somnambulance


    26 Nov 2006 Reply

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