Interesting intervention from Jah Prayzah with this tweet.
I asked Oliver Mtukudzi why he had sang before Mugabe at his march.
“You go there to send a message,” he said as he walked me to my car at Pakare Paye.
“Look at the track selection for that concert, I played songs like Mukuru, Bvuma and Tsika Dzedu,” he said.
Is Jah Prayzah able to do so?
Yes, he could if he wants to, but does he have such a rich catalogue of protests songs?
First of all Jah Prayzah needs to build a catalogue that speaks to the injustices of the day as Tuku did.
Bob Marley performed at political concerts in Jamaica meant to bring the warring political parties together.
But then like Tuku, he would play “Get Up, Stand Up” and he would only play when both of Jamaica’s political party leaders were there in order to send a message to their warring supporters, the ones being used to kill each other.
The most iconic famous Bob Marley concert is the one where he brought Prime Minister Michael Manley to shake hands with opposition leader Edward Seaga.
So if JP sings Kutonga Kwaro in the face of the current injustices and corruption, the masses will resist his brand.
He could have written Kutonga Kwaro for other reasons, but he allowed it to be appropriated by the regime and he went along with it.
There is a vast difference between what Tuku and Bob Marley did, and what Jah Prayzah and Sandra Ndebele do.
Bob and Tuku used the stage to speak out against the dictator in his face, they spoke truth to power.
JP and Sandra’s music ululates the dictatorship with Kutonga-Kwaro being seen as a sound track to Mnangagwa’s evil rule by the critical thinking citizens!
So as long as Jah Prayzah continues singing for the dictator at his rallies, the critical thinking music consumer will associate his brand and music with that of the evil and crooked regime.
The truth is that nobody is forced to pen songs for Mnangagwa or to play for him, they do so because they want to, and for dollar bills.
The critical thinking citizen knows that the money being looted meant for hospitals is the one being used to pay these musicians at these conspicuous spending music galas.
So musicians like JP and Sandra are seen as part of the problem, whereas Bob Marley was seen as the solution because he was not doing it for money.
He was doing it to unite the nation.
Tuku was a legend, he went to play for Mugabe’s march and throughout the whole concert he was playing diss tracks!
The clever ones like Jonathan Moyo realized what Tuku had done!
For now Jah Prayzah can count on those fans who are not politically conscious, who don’t care whether he sings for Mnangagwa or not.
And they are many, but he must look at what happened to Andy Brown and Tambaoga.
Ultimately, the citizen does make you pay for your choices.