Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Interview with Thomas Mapfumo

George Negus interviews Zimbabwean musician, Thomas Mapfumo.
Dubbed as the Lion of Zimbabwe, Mapfumo is known internationally for blending traditional Shona mbira music with western instruments since the early 70s. At the time, singing in Shona was uncommon, and in the context of the escalating war, automatically political.

His songs often reflected the concerns of society; hardships in rural areas and the oppression of Shona culture by white rulers.

However it wasn't until the late 80s when his music focused on questioning the country's leadership, who he believed had failed the people. In 1989 he released the album 'Corruption', which openly criticised President Robert Mugabe and his government.

Shortly after the release, Mapfumo became the target of government harassment which eventually forced him to flee to the United States.

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